ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 02293 3938
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
1816 TO 1840
BLACKFORD CONDIT, D.D.
Hail to the pioneers
Who in departed years
Here sought their fame
Judge Thomas B. Loxg
A. S. BARNES & CO.
A. S. Bar ties &<> Co.
€act^ anb (Ercry (Dnc
VOho by Birtl] or Clboptton
Claims a J\C5tbcncc in Scrre i^autc
Prcrtous to ^84;0,
£1^15 SooU is irtost KcspectfuIIg
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Portrait of Chauncey Rose Frontispiece
2. Fort Harrison in 1812 38
3. The First Court House, 1818-1866 67
4. Old State Bank, 1834 158
5. Old Vigo Fire Engine 165
II. The Wabash River
III. Wabash River Craft
IV. Indian Villages on the Wabash ....
V. The Prairie
VI. Fort Harrison
VII. Fort Harrison — Continued
VIII. The Founding of the Village ....
IX. The Founding of the Village — Continued
X. Post Office
XL The First Court House and Jail
XII. Taverns and Tavern Keepers
XIII. Churches and Ministers
XIV. Churches and Ministers — Continued .
XV. Schools and School Teachers ....
XVI. Schools and School Teachers — Continued .
XVII. Early Courts, Laws and Lawyers .
XVIII. Early Courts, Laws and Lawyers — Continued
XIX. Early Courts, Laws and Lawyers — Continued
XX. Early Physicians
XXI. Early Physicians — Continued ....
XXII. Newspapers and Editors
XXIII. Store Keepers and Pork Merchants
XXIV. Store Keepers and Pork Merchants — Continued
XXV. Trades and Tradesmen
XXVI. MoneYj Banks and Bankers ....
XXVII. Fires and Fire Companies
XXVIII. Canal, National Road and Railroad .
XXIX. E.A.RLY Poets and Poetry
XXX. A Paradise for Boys .and Girls ....
The original purpose of this little book was to tell the story
of our village from its founding to the time of its becoming
a city. This seemed natural and satisfactory. The dates
fixed upon therefore, were i8 16-1840. It was thought that
this short period, though big with events, might be com-
prised in twenty-five or thirty chapters, which even a busy
man might find time to read. But before the pencil had
touched the notebook, it became evident that the plan would
not work. The very name of the town, carries the story
back an hundred years previous to 18 16. Our dear old river,
that made the site of the village possible, had a story, which
must be told, which goes back of the French fur trader, and
his predecessors the American Indians, to prehistoric times,
evidences of which are found upon its banks, in the shape
of fortifications and mounds. Besides there could have been
no village without our prairie, and its story too must be told,
though it carry us back to nobody knows when or where.
If the seemingly natural limit of 1816 fared so badly; that
of 1840, if possible, fared worse. The events of the inter-
vening years were so eventful that they burst through all
artificial barriers. Vou might stop the flow of the Wabash
with drift wood and cornstalks, but not the swift current of
village into city life. Human lives may end, but not the
forces thev set in motion. Deeds reproduce themselves.
As a notable example, Mr. Chauncey Rose, the patron of our
citv, is more alive in his influence to-day than in the days
of his natural life. And yet let it be understood, when these
chronological limits could be applied, they have served a good
purpose ; as no facts small or great have been recorded unless
tinged by the golden light of those golden village days.
Please expect for the most part, short chapters. Long
chapters make most readers sigh ; and after reading and read-
ing, if the end is yet far away, they sigh again.
Another word is offered for the comfort of the reader. In
the variety of village attractions, each may find something to
gratify his individual taste. If poetically inclined turn di-
rectly to the chapter on poets and poetry. Or, if interested in
schools and school teachers you will find much relating to
them comprised in separate chapters. So in regard to early
merchants, or to doctors, preachers, artizans, courts and law-
yers, money, banks and bankers, you will find them classified.
The same is true in regard to a visit to the fort, a tramp over
the prairie, a run to a midnight fire, a call at the postoffice, or
a stop at a village tavern. Or if you just want to read about
the happy girls and boys of village days, you have only to
turn to the last chapter.
Anno Domini 1916 will be the centennial of the building
of our city. Doubtless the commemoration will be w'orthy
of the occasion. In honoring the fathers we shall honor our-
selves. The facts of early pioneer history gathered in these
chapters as a preparatory step, may aid those upon whom
shall fall the responsibility of arranging for the One Hun-
dredth Anniversary of the Founding of Terre Haute.
Terre Haute, Indiana.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
The life of Terre Haute extends back over three-fourths
of a century. In due time some one will write its history, but
our purpose here is to tell of its early beginnings and growth,
from 1816 to 1840, when the original village had grown so
far beyond its limits that it justly could be called a city. It
is true that as early as 1832, the town was incorporated. By
virtue of an act of the legislature, approved January 26th,
1832, a meeting was called at the Court House, and the wheels
of a city government were put in place, by the election of a
long list of officers, and by dividing the town into five wards.
But when we are informed that the population numbered
but six hundred, and that the business was confined to the
rows of buildings surrounding the Court House square, we
may reasonably conclude that the village life of the town had
not yet ended. Besides, this conviction is confirmed, when
told that near the old Blinn house on Third street, north of
Chestnut, " there was a dense forest," also that " wild deer
could be seen gamboling, where the Terre Haute House now
stands." Again that immediately north of Mr. Blinn, was
the "range" for catde, which was "vocal with the ringing of
cowbells ;" and that many of the villagers went thither " both
morning and evening, in search of their cattle ; " surely all
this indicates that whatever the aspirations of 1832, our town
was still a village.
12 THE HISTORY OF
From the above date, however, the population gradually
increased. In 1835 it numbered over twelve hundred.
In 1838 a new charter was granted by the State legislature,
and under its provisions the first mayor was chosen. This
same year a daily mail to Indianapolis was established. The
Prairie House about this time, was opened to the public. The
year 1840 was looked upon as separating the old and
the new. All comers, therefore, previous to this date, may
be classed as old pioneers, and early settlers. Not a few of
these still remain, and they recall with pride, the olden times,
before the forties. " The society in those early days was so
good," said a good friend to me the other day. " There ex-
isted a marked kindliness among the people," said another.
Still another, " All new comers were heartily welcomed, and
every man stood ready to lend a helping hand to his neigh-
But whether village or city, the location has had much to
do with its future development. Our town was not set down
in a trackless waste, but in a valley already known to history ;
as we were located in the Mississippi basin, on a natural
thoroughfare, extending from the Lakes on the north to the
Gulf on the south. In 1682, or as some say, 1679, the cele-
brated La Salle led a band of explorers down the Illinois
river to the Mississippi, and thence to the Gulf, and took
possession of all the country covered by the Mississippi and
its tributaries, in the name of Louis XIV. A new empire
in the new world was the ambition of this monarch, and he
would name it New France. In 1688 we read, that the
French had " divers establishments on the Mississippi, as well
as on the Ouabache," which latter is none other than our
Wabash. Again we are told, that " De Iberville conducted
a colony of Canadians from Quebeck to Louisiana, by way
of the Maumee and the Wabash."
The eighteenth century was rich in events, which told not
only upon the political interests of the northwest, but upon
our whole country as well. The national flags of France
and England in turn waved triumphantly over our Wabash
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 3
valley : but in time, the American flag permanently displaced
them. This was as it ought to have been, for the sake of the
homes of the early settlers, for the sake of good government,
and the common weal of all the land extending to the Pacific
Instead of clogging the following pages with references,
I would make my acknowledgments once for all, to such
authorities as Bancroft's History of the United States, which
is rich in material concerning the occupation of the country
by the Indians. Whatever of other histories of Indiana there
may be, Dillon's will always occupy a prominent place on the
library shelf and student's table. Of William H. Smith's
History of Indiana, in two volumes, 1897, I cannot speak too
highly. The work is clear and comprehensive and as it be-
comes known, will be better appreciated. It covers the his-
tory of our State from 1763 to 1897. Another history of
Indiana is that of J. P. Dunn, Jr. The central point of in-
terest in this work, as the author intended, is the fearful part
that slavery played up to the time of the organization of the
state. As throwing light upon the early political history of
Indiana, this book is invaluable. The History of Indiana,
by William H. English, was intended to comprise a complete
history of the state, with biographical sketches of its most
eminent men. He lived to complete but a single volume,
which covers the early history of the Northwestern territory.
Whether his purpose is ever carried out, this volume is an
important contribution to the history of this part of the coun-
try, in that he spared neither time nor expense in gathering
up original matter. Judge John Law's Colonial History of
Vincennes is local and so far important. Butler's History of
The Commonvv'ealth of Kentucky, dealing as it does with the
Northwestern campaign, covers much of the early history of
Indiana. Hon. O. H. Smith's Early Indiana Trials and
Sketches is a delightful book for lawyers, and laymen as
well. W. W. Woollen's Biographical Sketches of Early
Indiana is a desirable book for all wlio would make the ac-
quaintance of the prominent men of the state who lived
14 THE HISTORY OF
previously to 1883. For facts in regard to the Indian, I am
greatly indebted to Catlin's North American Indians, Lon-
don, 1866: also to Schoolcraft's Thirty Years among the In-
dian Tribes, Philadelphia, 185 1. The Mississippi Basin, by
Justin Winsor, is an authoritative work, on account of the
sources from which it is drawn ; and yet it must be, that in
many of the difficult questions it pronounces upon, the last
word has not been spoken.
More specific and local are the Historical Notes on the
Wabash \'alley, by H. W. Beckwith, and the History of Vigo
County by Judge S. B. Gookins, bound together in the His-
tory of A'igo and Parke Counties, 1880. If possible, more
valuable is the History of Vigo County by H. C. Bradsby,
189 1. These histories contain a mine of information bearing
directly upon the early settlement of Terre Haute and Vigo
County. As sources for the most part they are reliable as
their facts were gathered from newspaper files, county records
and personal interviews, and so, are of the first importance.
The same may be said of the four volumes of newspaper
cuttings made by the late Mr. Henry Warren, and kindly
loaned to me by the family. In these volumes are preserved
facts pertaining to the history of Terre Haute families and
individuals, that must otherwise have passed into oblivion.
I would here repeat my sincere thanks to the family for the
free use of these highly prized volumes. Besides the above
acknowledgments, I must not forget to express my obliga-
tions to the manymany friends ; some of whom kindly granted
personal interviews, while others replied by letter, to lists of
questions bearing upon personal, family and local matters of
interest. Sometimes this trouble was not small, as garrets
were searched, and trunks made to yield up their treasures in
the way of old and almost forgotten letters and family papers.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 15
THE WABASH RIVER
Names are the footprints of history. The hundreds of
Indian names of lakes, rivers, and towns, tell of the aljorigines
of the country; so, English and French names indicate the
fact of English and French occupation. In the names of
our own river, we have illustrations of this fact. Wabash
was spelled Ouabache by the French, the diphthong ou
having the force of w. The early French explorers and
writers spelled the word as they caught the guttural pronun-
ciation of the Indians. Sometimes it appears as Ouabache,
Oubash, or Waubache. To the musical ear of the polite
Frenchman this rude and uncouth sound was offensive ; hence
he preferred to translate the word according to its literal
meaning, and so named it, Blanch river. This is true also
of the English, who disliking everything French, retranslated
the name, and called it, White river. Again in turn when
English rule came to an end, the American restored to the
river its original name. These, as footprints, mark the prog-
ress of events as they occurred.
There is one other name, that deserves mention in this
connection, in that it marks one of the earliest attempts to
rob our river of its rightful name, and plainly indicates the
footprint of the Jesuit Father. The name occurs but once
so far as I have discovered, and may be found in the original
grant of Louis XIV., to Anthony Crozat, who was high
counselor and secretary of his household. The letters patent
were granted in 1712, in which the king declares certain
privileges to be enjoyed by the said Crozat, " to carry on
trade in all the lands possessed by us bordering on the river
of St. Louis, heretofore called Mississippi ; also on the river
1 6 THE HISTORY OF
St. Philips, heretofore called Missouri ; and the St. Jerome,
heretofore called Ouabache."
The story of Crozat in his greed for gold is interesting;
but the object here is simply to point out, that previously to
this date, by means of public documents, the monarch learned,
that the names of these rivers by the authority of Catholic
missionaries and explorers had been changed ; and especially
that the river heretofore known as Wabash was to be called
St. Jerome. All honor to the memory of St. Jerome, who
flourished in the fourth century, and was the most celebrated
Greek and Hebrew scholar of his age. The Church and the
World are indebted to him for the best Latin version of the
Bible known as the Vulgate. But instead of his great name
for our little river, we very much prefer the Indian name
The name was doubtless suggested by the river itself, as
its waters were remarkable for their clearness. So that when
the Indian stood upon its banks, or rowed his bark canoe over
its surface, he naturally called it Ouabache, which meant in
his language, white. The once small boy of the village easily
recalls, how, when he went in swimming up at the old sand-
bar, the white sand glittered through the clear water, at a
depth of several feet ; also how the white pebbles and the
mussel shells with their rainbow colors, could be plainly seen,
and the delight he took in diving for them. While our river
rightly rejoices in its original name, yet it must be that we
are called to lament that it has lost much of its ancient glory.
In times past, the wild forest and uncultivated prairies filtered
much of the water before it reached the river ; but now not
only the surface waters with their impurities, rush through
the creeks into the river; but our boasted civilization adds
the contribution of its sewage. In its nature, our river was
one not only with the red man of the forest, but with the
wild beasts that slaked their thirst from its generous waters,
and the wild fowls that rested on its bosom. P)nt this first
glory is passed ; and whatever we may have thought, there
was a wonderful adaptation of man, beasts, forests and water
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 7
courses, each to the other. So that no wonder the Indian war-
rior in the person of Tecumseh. in his memorable speech at
\'incennes, in 1810, should say: " The sun is my father — the
earth is my mother — and on her bosom I will recline." And
that in the course of his speech he should add, " The great
spirit had given all the country as common property to all the
tribes ; that they had been driven from the banks of the Dela-
ware, across the Alleghanies, and that their possessions on
the Wabash, and the Illinois were now to be taken from
them. Like galloping horses, their tribes had been driven to^
wards the setting sun, — that for himself and his warriors he
had determined to resist any further aggression of the
whites." No one can read these noble sentiments of this
proud warrior, without feeling that logically he was in the
right, but the iron heel of civilization was crushing him,
and all that belonged to the very existence of his people.
On a certain anniversary occasion that took place in one of
our city churches in Terre Haute, one of the speakers by way
of compliment, referred to the historical fact, that the \\^abash
for many years was considered the river that emptied into the
j\Iississippi, and that the Ohio was one of its tributaries. This
was quite natural when we recall the fact, as intimated in the
previous chapter, that the Wabash was an important link in
connecting the extreme north with the extreme south land.
Early French writers spoke of the Ouabache as the river
that emptied into the Mississippi. And even after the error
had been refuted, in common parlance, it was kept alive.
A\'ithout reference however, to any false claims, the Wabash
was not only traversed by the hardy explorers and traders,
but it was the natural water way for the red man in passing
from the Lakes on the north to the Gulf on the south ; and
because of its being the natural thoroughfare, it may be pos-
sible, when the time comes for building the Great Ship Canal,
uniting the lakes with the gulf, our Wabash shall become an
important link in that grand commercial enterprise.
In closing, a brief reference to the \\'abash as a very
ancient river, it may not be out of place, to briefly refer to the
1 8 THE HISTORY OF
prehistoric monuments standing- upon its banks, which point
to other races, that have existed here, and have passed away ;
of whom much has been surmised, and but Httle known. The
Hterature of ]\Iounds and Mound builders is abundant, de-
scribing ancient fortifications and mounds throughout the
country, and especially in Ohio, and the southern portion of
Indiana ; but I would here simply call attention to the fac^, of
existing mounds and earthworks in the adjacent counties of
Sullivan and Knox. For a full description of these, the
reader is referred to the Reports of State Geologists,
Professors John Collett, and E. T. Cox.
One of these fortifications lies almost at our door, and we
knew it not. Doubtless many of us have been in the town
of Alerom, and admired its high banks or bluffs, but no one
said, " Come and see Fort Azatlan, the great wonder of our
neighborhood." This Fort Azatlan, or Aztec fort as some
prefer to call it, neither of which names are quite satisfactory,
is described as situated upon a table land on the east side of
the Wabash, about one hundred and seventy feet above the
level of the river. On the eastern side, and on the south-
western end, there are deep ravines, which serve as natural
defenses. Where these are weak, they are strengthened by
artificial stone walls. The length of the fortification is about
twelve hundred feet ; its width in the center, is some four
hundred ; at the north end, fifty ; and at the south end, a
The interior of the fort contains " depressions or sinks,
circular in form and varying in width from ten to twenty
feet." In the interior, also on the outside, there are " burial
mounds, showing that the place \vas quite densely populated
for a long period of time."
In Knox county, near our neighboring city of Vincennes,
there is a remarkable group of what are called Indian mounds.
These dififer in size ; and there are three which are specially
noticeable, on account of their peculiar shape. One bears the
name of Pyramid mound ; another, that of Sugarloaf mound ;
and a third, that of Terrace mound. The last is the largest.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 9
and has a height of sixty-seven feet, with a base from east
to west of some three hundred and sixty feet.
Following the river below Vincennes, there is an " immense
group of mounds '" at New Harmony. There is also near
there on the top of one of the highest hills, " a shell heap cov-
ering an half acre, to the depth of thirty feet."
Who were these dwellers on the banks of our ancient river ?
Were these Mound builders one and the same with the Fort
builders? Did one enslave, or drive out the other ; if so, what
became of the conquering race ? In the line of the world's in-
habitants where shall we place these peoples ? Prehistoric is a
very convenient word, covering up a thousand unanswerable
questions ; and opening up opportunities of countless theories
and speculations. And yet relics have been unearthed, and
facts collected, that command not only a justifiable curiosity,
but, profound interest. Small mounds comparatively of little
importance are known to have been located immediately
north and south of Terre Haute ; but they have been plowed
over, and so far effaced. In a single instance at least, one of
these mounds located south of the town, was examined but
no relics were found of any importance.
20 THE HISTORY OF
WABASH RIVER CRAFT
The Indian maiden, in her beautifully wrought birch
canoe, was an ideal picture of grace and of contentment. No
bird upon the water could be more composed and at home.
Her boat, light as to weight, on landing, she threw over head
as a hood, and bore it to her wigwam. No doubt but that
our river, in times past has frequently carried on its bosom,
not only single canoes, but flotillas of Indian canoes of every
size and variety of make.
The birch-bark canoe is the lightest and handsomest, and on
account of its strength the best adapted to long journeys and
heavy loads. Mr. H. W. Beckwith, in his Historic Notes on
the North West, in quoting at length from M.Pouchet says in
substance : the birch-bark canoes are solid and artistically
made. The frames are made of thin strips of cedar, some three
or four inches wide, and covered with the bark of the birch
tree, sewed together like skins, and tied along the ribs with
the inner bark of the roots of the cedar. They then put in cross
bars to strengthen the boat, and to serve as seats. Accord-
ing to the size, there might be three, six, twelve and even
twenty-four of these bars or seats. The seams are covered
with gum. Catlin, in his Letters and Notes on the American
Indians, in describing the birch canoes says: " They are gen-
erally made complete with the rind of one birch tree, and so
ingeniously shaped and sewed together with the roots of the
tamarack that they are water tight, and ride upon the waters
as light as a cork. They gracefully lean and dodge about,
under the skillful balance of an Indian ; but like everything
wild, are timid and treacherous under the guidance of a white
man." He describes also the skin canoe of the Mandans of
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 21
the Upper Missouri, which is made almost round hke a tub,
the frame being made of willow boughs and covered with
the skin of the buffalo. " The woman in paddling this awk-
ward tub, stands in the bow, and makes the stroke with the
paddle by reaching it forward in the water and drawing it to
her, by which means she pulls her canoe along with consid-
erable speed." This boat was for home use, and doubtless
never appeared on the waters of the ^^"abash.
They had also a canoe constructed of elm bark which was
comparatively frail. It is described as made from the bark
of an elm tree, while yet its sap is flowing. The bark is taken
off as a whole, of such length as may be desired. After dress-
ing the rough side they turn the inside out, and introduce
wooden bows for the sake of strengthening the boat, and giv-
ing to it a canoe shape. The ends are sewed up with elm
bark, and then gummed to make them water tight. These
canoes, according to their length, carry three to nine persons.
" They sit on their heels without moving for fear of losing
their balance, when the machine will upset."
Still another style, used by the Indians, was a log canoe,
or dugout, for the most part called a pirogue. This was
made from the trunk of a tree hollowed out and pointed at
each end. Some suppose this was done by the Indian with
his dull stone hatchet ; while others affirm that he used fire
to aid him in the process. These boats were long and strong
and much used on the [Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Like
other Indian water craft they were treacherous and hard
for the white man to manage. 'Sir. Catlin, in speaking of his
experience with a pirogue says : " At the Traverse de Sioux
our horses were left, and we commi::ted our bodies and little
travelling conveniences to the narrow compass of a modest
canoe, that must most evidently have been dug out from
the "Lcrong side of the log, — that required us and everything
in it to be exactly in the bottom — and then, to look straight
forward, and speak from the middle of our inoiiflis, or it was
' fother side up ' in an instant. In this vray embarked, with
our paddles used as balance poles and propellers (after dril-
22 THE HISTORY OF
ling awhile in shallow water . . . .)\yc started off upon the
bosom of the St. Peters for the Fall of St. Anthony."
Judge Gookins, in his account of his journey from the
State of New York, by the northern route in 1823, informs
us incidentally, of the price of pirogues. He says : " The next
feat to be accomplished was the ascent of the Miami or j\Iau-
mee as it was called. We found an old French trader with
a canoe constructed in a style much superior to the common
pirogue ; but his price, $20.00, we considered quite too high.
We finally found a canoe well made and new, which we pur-
chased .... but in loading found it much too small. It cost us
$7.00. Then we swapped with the old Frenchman, paying
him $5.00 to boot, and so we got his $20.00 watercraft for
The above were the several kinds of watercraft the French-
man found when he entered this country as a fur trader. He
adopted the large birch bark canoe on account of its con-
struction which combined lightness with strength. The pi-
rogues, he sometimes lashed together side by side, something
in the manner of a raft, and thus they became convenient for
heavy loads of fur skins. There was a marked change how-
ever, w'hen the American pioneer came upon the scene. He
brought with him the family boat with its broad flat bottom,
into which he could load not only wife and children, but
household effects. In this way, all the conveniences of an
eastern home were introduced into the western cabin, until a
more comfortable house could be erected. One of the earliest
recorded arrivals on the Wabash, of these boats was in 1816.
It was composed of a number of families from the State of
New York, known as the Markle party. " Proceeding from
Olean Point on the Allegheny river, they floated down the
Ohio. Reaching the Wabash, they poled up that river to
Vincennes. After a stay of about two weeks the fleet pro-
ceeded up the river to Fort Harrison."
Before the introduction of the steamboat, the keel boat and
the barge were the favorite water craft for carrying freight
and passengers. These names were interchangeable, that is>
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 23
a barge was called a keel boat, and a keel boat a barge. Some
of these boats were propelled by oars, and others simply by
poles. These " setting poles," as they were called, were used
not only for " poling " the boat up stream, but for warding
off logs and sawyers. Again some of these barges were only
adapted for transporting loads of wood or common freight,
while others were fitted up for the convenience of passengers
as well as drygoods and groceries. The labor of rowing and
poling these barges up stream was excessive. In stemming a
swift current, by keeping close to the shore and by the use of
cars, poles and a cordelle or tow line, a distance of six miles
was all that could be made in a day.
The small barge used for local purposes, and all kinds of
rough loading from its worn out and leaking condition, was
called a scow. This name also fitted any old skifif or dug out.
The raft was another convenient craft, consisting of a
large number of logs fastened together side by side, for the
sake of floating them to a distant saw mill. I am told that
on account of the demand for timber from the Wabash coun-
try, large rafts were constructed, and loaded with cargoes of
home products, all of which, cargo and logs, found ready
sale in New Orleans.
The skifif, or yawl, as it was sometimes called, had a canoe
shape at the front end, while the back was square. These
boats unlike the canoe or dugout which were propelled bv
paddles, were provided with row locks on the gunwales, in
which oars rested for rowing.
The ferry boat was one of the necessities of the early
pioneer. It was a great flat bottomed boat constructed to
carry cattle, sheep, hogs, as well as loaded wagons across the
river ; and so was provided with high railings on either side
and bars at the ends. At each end also there was attached a
wide apron or bridge fastened by heavy iron hinges, thus
facilitating the stepping from the shore into the boat. These
boats were propelled by poles, also by oars in times of high
But above all the water craft of the Wabash, was our home
24 THE HISTORY OF
made flat boat. It was a veritable ark made to float with the
current, and wonderfully adapted to carrying large cargoes
of corn, pork, lard and all kinds of country produce down the
river to New Orleans. Our city must never forget the grand
old flat boat. It deserves to be inscribed upon our escutcheon ;
for to this flat boat we are largely indebted for
our first start in the world. Our oldest citizens are
familiar with the appearances of these arklike vessels;
but comparatively few could intelligently describe their
construction. I am indebted to a friend, who in his
younger days was an old boatman, Mr. Jerry C. Hidden,
who kindly furnished me with the following particu-
lars. The length of an ordinary flat boat was from sixty to
a hundred feet ; the width from sixteen to twenty-two feet ;
the height about five feet. For a single gunwale or gunnel
as it was commonly called, a tall poplar tree was selected, and
after the trunk had been rived apart and hewed down to the
proper size, the two were spliced together for the sake of the
required length. Two gunwales thus prepared were firmlv
fastened together some twenty feet apart, planked on the
bottom side, and calked with oakum, and thus made water
tight. The sides were boarded up with heavy planks fas-
tened to stanchions, with wooden pegs or pins. Here again
the joints were calked with oakum. The roof covered the
whole boat with the exception of an opening at one end.
which was set ofif for bunks and for cooking. For guiding
and sometimes for propelling purposes, there were great oars
or sweeps on the sides, also at the end of the boat. There was
also the ever present setting poles clad at the end with iron
spikes. The flat boat crew usually consisted of five boat hands
headed by a captain. The trij) to New Orleans, from Tcrre
Haute, was made in about twenty-one days. The hourly dan-
gers by day as well as by night, consisted of hidden snags, also
swaying snags, or old sawyers as they were calied ; and the
thundering, rushing crevasse. These breaks in the embank-
ments of the lower ]\Iississippi caused by the fierce rushing of
its troubled waters, were heralded by a sound resembling roll-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 25
ing thunder, which created consternation in the minds of the
most experienced boatmen ; since with one sweep the mad
current carried everything within its reach out into the over-
The beginning of the end of the flat boat trade, was when
the first steamboat appeared at our wharf, which is said to
have been in 1822. The captain and his boat were welcomed
by a concourse of villagers gathered on the banks of the river,
and by the booming of the town cannon. Another boat fol-
lowed in 1826. In due time regular packet boats had their
appointed days of arrivals and departures. It was a glad
sight to see " a fleet of steamboats " wending its way up the
river, ladened with sugar, salt and other merchandise. These
were the days of village prosperity, when our river front was
graced with steamboats, loading and unloading freight ; when
wagons and drays crowded upon each other in carting barrels,
boxes, and casks through the heavy sand and up the long hill
into the town. The flat boat trade, however, was too firmly
established to be entirely supplanted. In the thirties our
boat yard situated north of the city on the sandy shore of the
river, just below where the City Water \\'orks now stand,
was one of the centers of industry. The sawing and the
hewing to the chalk line ; the pounding together the frame
work ; the driving of the great wooden pins, and the punch-
ing home the oakum, or calking into every crack and cranny,
altogether created a busy and lifelike scene.
In addition to the above Mr. D. H. Ritter, in the Bloom-
field News, April 20, 1900, kindly sent me specific answers to
a number of questions, from which the following facts are
condensed. A\^hen sawed with a whip-saw, one tree made four
pieces or half gunnels, eight inches thick, thirty-two inches
wide, sloped sixteen feet at both ends. The bottom was made
of two-inch planks, crosswise, pinned to streamers and in
rabbets. The oar at the stern was called " the steering oar ; "
the one at the bow " the gouger." A White river boat 80 x
18 carried 3.500 bushels of corn. Waba.sh boats were larger
and carried 5.000 bushels of corn. All these are average fig-
26 THE HISTORY OF
ures. " The big Terre Haute boat of 1841, 130x29, carried
10.000 bushels of corn."
As suggested, however, with the coming of the steamboat
there came a change heartily welcomed by the white man,
but not by the Indian. The barge or keel boat, the canoes or
wooden skiffs, though they surprised the Indian, yet they
neither alarmed or offended him, but upon the first appear-
ance of the steamboat, breathing out its white steam, black
smoke, and belching forth its red fiery sparks, the poor af-
frighted Indian fled as from a huge unearthly monster. Even
after explanations and assurances were given, and he had
become somewhat acquainted with the workings of the steam-
boat, he was still superstitious and fearful, and persisted in
believing that this ugly, threatening creature was an offense
to the gentle river, and to the Great Spirit as well, and the
only reason he could give was that the white man " biled "
the water of the river to drive the angry boat over its peace-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
INDIAN VILLAGES ON THE WABASH
Before the coming of the white man our information re-
specting the American Indian is largely traditional. Their
writings were confined to pictures, or hieroglyphics made for
the most part on the inside of the skins of anirnals. If these
ever contained records of importance they have perished.
Their hatchets, arrowheads, pipes and mortars being of stone,
are almost the only lasting relics they have left behind. In this
immediate region there are traditions of bloody battles fought
on the Wabash between the Illini or Illinois and the Iroquois.
It is not a little difficult to understand the history of the In-
dian tribes on account of their various divisions into different
bands, under separate names. The historical element in lan-
guage, points unmistakably to the fact that very many of the
seemingly separate tribes once belonged to the original Al-
gonquin race. That the Wabash valley should have been the
early home of the ancient red man is not surprising. Its
wild forests, luxuriant prairies, and numerous water courses,
each in turn abounding with beasts, fowl, and fish, made it
an ideal hunting ground. Here were herds of buffalo, and
deer ; flocks of wild turkeys, and waterfowl of every descrip-
tion ; which were not hunted for sport, but for food, clothing
and the coverings of their wigwams. When the white man
first explored the vast territory lying east of the Mississippi
river, the Miamis were in possession of the land now occupied
by the State of Indiana. They were a confederate nation,
made ud of the Twiehtwees, or Miamis proper, the Weas, or
Ouiatenons, the Piankeshaws, and the Shockneys.
Prominent among the Indian villages of the Wabash was
Chip-Kaw-Kay, which was situated where the city of Vin-
28 THE HISTORV OF
cennes now stands. Judge Law calls the name Chippe Coke,
or Brush Wood, and says : " As to its early history .
clouds and darkness rest upon it. " He fails also in the exact
date of its settlement by the French ; and of its becoming a
military post. After much research and no little conjecture
he says by way of conclusion: " If I am right . . . the
settlement of this place by the French may be dated back as
far as the year 1710 or 11." As a basis of his conclusion
he quotes a letter written by Father Gabriel Alarest, dated
Kaskaskia, Nov. 9. 1712, in which he graphically describes
the country bordering on the Ouabache; that "buffalo "and
" bear " abound ; also that " the French have lately established
a Fort on the river Wabash and demanded a missionary ; and
that Father ^Mermet was sent to them." The date of this
letter and the demand for a missionary seem good
grounds for Judge Law's conclusion. But other authorities
are quite as confident that there was no post there till after
1 71 5; and in the absence of any direct record, it is probable
that it was established in 1720; while some fix the date about
1727. It is conceded, however, that French traders visited
the village of Chip-Kaw-Kay many years previous to the date
of its becoming a military post.
Ouiatenon, pronoimced We-a-te-non, was another Indian
village located on the Wabash between Attica and Lafayette.
It was the largest of the Wea villages, and was in the center
of the Beaver country. A trading post was established here
by the French about the year 1720, but like other Indian vil-
lages, doubtless it was visited by French fur traders years
before. There were several straggling Wea villages in this
vicinity, but this was the largest. Quoting from a Paris
document, Dillon says : " This river, Ouabache, is the one
on which the Oui-a-te-nons are settled. They consist of
five villages, contiguous to each other, . . . they are all
Ou-ja-ta-nons, having the same language as the Miami, whose
brothers they are, . . . having all the same customs and
dress." Little or nothing is known of these Wea villages
excepting traditional accounts of bloody wars with their
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 29
neighbors. The Ouiatenons were a warlike people, yet in-
clined to peace. Coming down into the range of history, it
is known that they permitted other tribes to settle within
their domains in preference to waging a war of extermina-
tion. The Ouiatenons like the other tribes welcomed the
French fur trader for the sake of his trinkets, blankets, and
especially his whiskey. They were ready to undergo any
and all hardships in hunting, for the sake of securing skins
to barter with the traders. This is no place to dwell upon
the degrading influences of the French trader. The writings
of the Jesuit fathers, and of early travelers, besides public doc-
uments, are filled with the accounts of the degraded condition
of the Indian from contact with the French fur trader.
There were notable exceptions, but from this time the doom
of the red man was sealed.
In 1 79 1 the village of Ouiatenon " had about eighty houses
with shingle roofs." As a trading post it had ranked first
in importance. A Franco-Indian civilization sprang up,
which grew from bad to worse. But about this time a radical
change took place, the French fur trader had gone, and in
his place came the American pioneer, not to trade with the
Indians, nor freely to mingle with them, but he came with his
own family to find a home in the wilderness, and to lay the
foundations of a civilization based upon an open Bible, upon
school books, and upon the axe, the plow and the hoe. His
government would possess the lands only by treaty, and
would insist that the rights of the people as settlers should
be respected. As Americans and pioneers they were the gov-
ernors as well as the governed. They rose as one man and
demanded peace, which meant protection by law and order,
even at the expense of war. Treaties were made, and it
must be added, were broken by both parties. The cotintry
was in a disturbed condition, and it was- unsafe for the white
man in the region north of Yincennes. Ouiatenon village
became the center of discontent. Nothing short of its de-
strtiction would insure peace. On the 23d of March, 1791.
Brigadier-General Scott with a force of eight hundred
30 THE IIISTUKV OF
mounted men was sent against the place. Although he
burned the village, and destroyed the corn, he was not entirely
successful. In August of the same year, however, Brigadier-
General James Wilkinson completed the destruction. In
his official report he states : " I have destroyed the chief
town of the Ouiatcnon nation, and made prisoners of the sons
and sisters of the king. I have burned a respectable Kick-
apoo village, and cut down at least four hundred and thirty
acres of corn, chiefly in the milk. The Ouiatenons (Weas),
left without houses, homes or provisions, must cease to war,
and will find active employ to subsist their squaws and
children during the impending Winter."
There is "bne other Wea village which claims our special
attention, from the fact that so far as its location is con-
cerned, it was a part and parcel of our own city. It stood
on the high bank of the river, on the spot now occupied by
the Terre Haute Water Works. The locality is the same
as that of the old Indian Orchard of cur village days. Ac-
cordingly the village was known also by the name of Orchard
town. This old orchard plainly indicated that this village
afterwards became a small French trading post, for the habit
of the French was to plant orchards and cultivate small
gardens, where they settled down into village life.
The old Indian name of this Wea village was Ouiateno,
pronounced We-au-te-no, and is said to have meant Rising
Sun. The name was not only beautiful but most appropriate,
in that from this elevated site, an unobscured view of the sun
could be had as it rose over the eastern bluff, and looked down
upon the wide stretch of intervening prairie. It was an ideal
location for an Indian village, since the view was not only
unobscured toward the rising, but also across the river far
towards the setting sun. Neither could an enemy approach
unseen on the river from the north or the south, since the high
bank commanded an excellent outlook. What the ancient
history of this village may have been, is buried in obscuritv;
but it requires no great stretch of the imagination, to picture
these Indians hunting in our woods, chasing the buffalo on
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
our prairie, and fishing in our river. Doubtless their trails,
and well worn pony paths, extended over the same ground
our present streets occupy. Although history is silent we
know that here the Indian gathered around his camp fires,
smoked his long pipe, played his ball games, danced his war
dance, and worshipped the Great Spirit.
32 THE HISTORY OF
Like the river our prairie made possible a site worthy of
an ideal village. The problem of the ages was to displace a
lake some twelve or fourteen miles in length, four miles in
width, sixty or more feet in depth, and make a garden spot
instead. In the filling of the lake the forces employed were
tremendous. Boulders, cobble stones, gravel and sand had
to be transported from the far distant North. When the
filling was completed, a rich loam of peculiar fineness had to
be prepared, and spread over the surface. In this soil must be
planted seeds of every variety, that there might spring up
grasses, fruits and fiowers in profusion. And so the cen-
turies wrought. And it came to pass that the garden was
made, and the seeds planted, each producing and reproducing
after its kind. And so after ages and ages had intervened,
when the earlier settler first looked upon this prairie, it pre-
sented a paradise of beauty. There were the gentians,
fringed, the lobelias, clad in their delicate blue, and the car-
dinals, blazing in their brilliant red. There were wild pinks,
roses, phloxes, or sweet williams. Of these last, it has been
said, " in beauty and every desirable feature they rivaled the
products of the hot house." In enumerating the wild flowers
of the prairie, the golden rod with its bright yellow plumes
must not be forgotten ; neither the blue bells, snow drops nor
larkspurs. Before the hand of civilization wrought havoc
on our prairie, these and a hundred other varieties flourished
in all their gorgeousness, or nestled in their mod-
esty under the cover of the high grasses. And even now
after three-quarters of a century of plowing, hoeing and
trampling, many of these wild children of nature still survive
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 33
in the edges of the woods, and in neglected and uncultivated
Not least among the charms of our prairie were the trees
of the wood, which fringed its edges on every side. They
were the noblest specimens of the forest, indicating excel-
lency of soil and climate. Prominent among these were the
walnuts, the black and the wdiite, the hickories, in their sev-
eral varieties, the sturdy oaks, the black and the white, the
great poplars, white and yellow, and the magnificent maples,
hard and soft. Besides, without attempting a complete list,
there were the elms, the long white armed sycamores, the
beeches, the wild cherries, and the locusts, with their sweet-
scented white racemes or clusters, and delicate leaves. These
latter transplanted along the streets, were for years the pride
and glory of our village sidewalks.
The woods on either side of the prairie seemingly craving
a place in the sunshine jutted out into the open, and some-
times separated from their fellows nestled together in small
groves which added nuich to the beauty of the landscape.
These islands of shade and shadow were not only a relief to
the eye, but a resting place for beast and bird.
Still fresh in the memory of our early settlers is the wild
cherry tree grove on East Chestnut street, where the Terre
Haute and Indianapolis R. R. depot was first located. It was
the home of flocks of blackbirds, whose chirping and noisy
din in time of ripe cherries presented a lively scene. In the
center of the prairie to the north and east of the town, stood
what was familiarly known as Early's grove. The place is
still marked by a few old stumps of trees, but its beautv and
glory are gone. Besides these there were little clumps of
plum trees, red and black haws, and crab-apple trees which
nestled together in separate families as if avoiding too close
contact with other trees.
Among the groves, also in the adjacent woods, nut bearing
trees abounded. The nuts of the black walnut were rich, and
those of the butternut, or white walnut were very delicate.
The shell barks were preferable among the hickory nuts.
34 TIIK HISTORY OF
Then there was the pecan, rich in flavor and much superior
to those broutrht here. There was also the dehghtful hazel-
nut, which i^rew in thickets of tall bushes, which were cruelly
grubbed up and torn from their places, to make room for the
demands of civilization. Those of us who were boys pre-
vious to 1840 remember distinctly the thickets of hazel bushes
that grew " up on sixteen," which had to give place to town
lots and village houses.
Next to the nuts came the small fruits, from the luscious
wild strawberry on the hillside and the patches of blackber-
ries in the openings of the woods, to the plums and the cher-
ries, not forgetting the wild grapes whose dependant vines
chose the sturdy trees as arbors. Then there was the May
apple, and also the paw-paw. These paw-paws, yellow and
luscious, were the delight of the small boy. but the horror of
bis mother. Sometimes the firm orange is found difficult for
some people to manage in eating, but the paw-paw by its
softness was hopelessly unmanageable.
As accessories to the prairie with its grasses, flowers and
groves, were the beasts and the birds that gave variety and
life to the scene. Here before the coming of the earliest
pioneers, the bufl^alo roamed and fed, and the bear stole out of
the adjacent wood for water to quench his thirst, and the
wolf, hated and feared, though comparatively harmless,
scampered over the prairie. Here also was the gentle deer,
the timid mother with her more timid fawn, fleeing for fear
where no fear was. And then the birds, resting in the
groves, or feeding on the seeds of tall grasses, sailing in the
sky above, or on the waters below, were here in the greatest
variety. The wild turkeys went in gangs ; the geese and
ducks in flocks ; and bevies of quails were everywhere, making
joyful and home-like the neighboring fields or the vacant lots
in the village with their familiar call of Bob-Bob-Bob-White.
The friendly and gentle robin redbreast, the harbinger of
Spring, visited the dooryards, or from some tall tree sent forth
its plaintive cry at early morning and at the approach of eve-
ning. Very pleasant are the memories of our earliest resi-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 35
dents, as they recall the number and beauty of our native
birds. There were the parrakeets in flocks, proudly decked
in red and green, the blackbird, seemingly always on the
wing, the voluble bobolink, the catbird, warbling its bor-
rowed notes, the meadow lark, whose distant calls lent a
charm to the adjacent fields ; the delightful little wren with its
inspiring notes, bespeaking a kindly heart, so kind that it
could not scold, though sputter away as it might ; and still
other varieties, but too much civilization drove them hence,
and only a remnant remains to remind of their former glory.
Although the first glory is passed, a second is to come.
( )ur heritage is great. The wild waste must become the cul-
tivated field. The possibilities of our garden spot can only
be realized by the subduing and cultivating hand of man.
36 THE IIISTOkV UF
Indiana territory was organized May loth, 1800. The
seat of government was fixed at Vincennes, and General Wm.
H. Harrison on the 13th of the same months was appointed
governor. About this time the Inchan tribes on the Wabash
were stirred up in opposition to the surrendering of their
lands to the whites. Incited by Tecumseh and his brother,
the Prophet, they entered into a confederacy against the
whites. In July, 1811, the Secretary of Virginia authorized
Gov. Harrison to call out the militia of the territory ; also at
his discretion to order Boyd's regiment of the United States
Infantry to proceed at once against Prophet's Town, at the
mouth of Tippecanoe river. On the 26th of September, of
the same year, he set out on the march to the Upper Wabash,
and on the 3d of October, encamped on the east bank of the
river, some two miles north of the Indian village of Rising
Sun, or Orchard Town, /. c, the future location of Terre
Haute. Delighted with the location he proceeded on next
day to carry out his intention of erecting a fort. Tradition
fixes upon this point as the place where a bloody battle had
been fought, which was called by the old French settlers,
Bataille Illinois. While engaged in building the fort, the
Governor received word from friendly Indians of the Dela-
ware and Miami tribes, of the increasing hostility of the
Shawanee Prophet and his confederates. That the Prophet's
" tomahawk was up against the whites — that nothing would
induce him to take it down unless the wrongs of the Indian
were redressed." On the night of the tenth of October, some
Shawanee Indians approached Harrison's camp while en-
gaged in building the fort, and wounded one of his sentinels.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 37
On the twenty-eighth of October, 1811, the fort was com-
The following account of the construction of the fort was
originally taken from a lecture delivered by General Charles
Cruft before the Vigo Horticultural society some years ago.
" The inclosure was an hundred and fifty feet square, a stock-
ade of heavy timber. The two corners to the west were the
block houses, forming the outer walls, and the eastern corners
were bastions two stories, and projecting from the second
story sufficiently to command the outside of the walls in two
directions. These were pierced on each face with embrasures
above and below to fire upon the enemy ; and guard against
an approach to set fire to the building. The western line
towards the river was formed by the soldiers' barracks, these
Avere merely strongly built log huts. The entrance or gate
was on the east, on the north side was the guard house, and
on the south side, the well and magazine; the stables, shed,
etc., for the stock were on the north side." By the request of
the officers, the fort was named after the General, and called
Col. James Miller with a small garrison was left in com-
mand of the fort, and Harrison with a force of some nine
hundred men, resumed his march towards Prophet's Town
On the fifth of November, 181 1, the army arrived within nine
miles of the town, and on the sixth, the General sent out
scouts that he might determine the exact position of the
enemy. He also moved his encampment in sight of Prophet's
Town. Every precaution was taken in the way of putting
out picket guards, while the soldiers received orders to sleep
on their arms. Notwithstanding all this on the morning of
the seventh, before daylight, an attack was made by the
Indians. Although at a great disadvantage the troops got
themselves into line, and when daylight came, by desperate
fighting the Indians were totally defeated. This was the
famous battle of Tippecanoe. The battle ground lies near the
citv of Lafayette. The grounds were purchased from the
Government by General John Tipton, who was an ensign in
THE HISTORY OF
one of the companies engaged in this hattle, and presented
by him to the State as a I'ark. Harrison's army returned,
by the way of Fort Harrison to X'incennes. The far-reach-
ing effects of this victory can scarcely be overestimated.
One of the chief resuhs was the overthrow of the Prophet's
iniluence. He had so worked upon the superstition of the
Indians, that they beheved, that protected by the Great Spirit,
the bullets of the white man could not harm them. Te-
cumseh was in the South pleading for a confederation of all
the tribes to drive out the white man from the Northwest.
Fort Harrison in 1812.
He was greatly chagrined and discouraged when he returned
and learned what his brother had done in entering upon the
struggle before his plans of a federation had been perfected.
It is well understood that the campaign of Harrison, as well
as those of Wilkinson, Harmar and others, had opened up the
valley of the Wabash to the knowledge of the whole country.
The soldiers carried home with them glorious accounts of the
beauty of the Wabash A^allcy, the mildness of the climate
and the fertility of the soil. The result was that prospectors.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 39
and bona fide settlers, pressed into this country in advance
even of Governmental surveys.
In 1812 Captain Zachary Taylor of the 7th U. S. Infantry
was placed in command of the fort. On Thursday, Sept. 3d,
two young men, who were making hay only a short distance
from the fort, were shot by the Indians. Taylor was sus-
picious of trouble. Although sick himself at the time, and
many of his men incapacitated because of illness, he at once
left his bed and gave out warning, that an attack by the In-
dians might be expected at any time. On the evening of the
4th the sentinels began firing. Soon it was discovered that
the Indians had set fire to the block house on the southwest
corner. The fire raged fiercely, and threatened the whole
structure. The yells of the savages, the cries of the women
and children in the fort and the raging of the fire, were
enough to make the stoutest heart quail. The commanding
officer was equal to the occasion. The fire was extinguished
and strong breast ^^•orks were made to take the place of the
burned gap. All through the dark night the Indians kept
up their firing, but at daybreak they sneaked aw^ay fearing
the deadly aim of the sharpshooters from the fort. They
succeeded, however, to keep out of rifle range, and to drive
ofif some seventy head of cattle.
In his official statement Capt. Taylor reported only the loss
of two killed and one wounded, and " these by their own care-
lessness." Among others in the fort at the time were John
Dickson and Jonathan Graham with their families. In the
many accounts of this fearful night honorable mention is
made of the women and children, who, so soon as they recov-
ered from the first shock, carried water to put out the fire,
and molded bullets for the riflemen. Captain Taylor imme-
diately sent messengers by canoe down the Wabash to Gov.
Harrison for aid, and considering the distance relief soon
came. This Captain Taylor was none other than he who
gained an enviable reputation as an Indian fighter, and as
" Old Rough and Ready " was elected President of the
United States. Maj. J. T. Chunn was the commandant at
Till-: HISTORY OF
the fort in 1815. He was succeeded by Alaj. R. Sturgis, who
commanded the place till 1822, when the fort ceased to be a
This account of the fort would be incomplete without some
reference to Drummer Davis, who drummed his drum a little
harder than ever, during that dreadful night of Sept. 4th,
1812. It was a common saying, that " with Zach Taylor
to do the fighting and Davis the drumming, they could whip
all creation." Davis was a deserter from the British at
Detroit, and joined Harrison's army. Afterwards he became
a citizen of Vigo county. When quite old he lived with his
son-in-law across the river from Terre Haute. He was the
center of attraction at 4th of July celebrations, and on election
days. We are told that when the surveyors were laying out
the Durkee ferry road, that they came up to Davis, w'ho was
sitting upon a knoll over which the road would naturally pass.
In answer to their inquiries, he said : " My comrades were
buried here. I helped to bury them; the road shall not run
over their graves while I live." His demands were heeded,
and the noticeable turn in the road m-ade then and there, re-
mains, as I am told, to this day. Davis lived till 1847, s"*^
doubtless there are many yet living who recall with deep in-
terest the patriotic rubadub, rubadub, rubadub-dub of Drum-
mer Davis' drum.
As a matter of historical interest special efforts have been
made to gather from every possible source a complete list of
the earliest pioneers who took refuge in the fort. Among
these there is no one who has been so fully wTitten up as
Joseph Liston. This is no place to discuss the claims, and
counter claims set up as to the turning the first furrow in
vhat is now Vigo county, which is a matter of small impor-
tance excepting as it indicates the earliest pioneers, who came
here to establish homes for themselves and their families. In
a published account of an Old Settler's meeting in Terre
Haute in 1875, Martin Adams said: "I came with my
father in 1809. We stopped at Curry's prairie; there we met
Joseph Liston, Drake and others, deliberating whether they
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 4 1
would come to Fort Harrison prairie. They were in fear of
hostile Indians. Joseph Listen said if any one would join
him he would go. The two Adamses, Drake, my father and
myself joined him, and we came with three wagons. This
was in April, 1809. That spring I saw Joseph Liston plow
the first furrow in the beautiful prairie My
father plowed that spring, where now the eastern portion of
the city of Terre Haute is built. I can only determine its
location as being west of a creek (Lost Creek) that disap-
peared on the prairie in a swamp, and was east of the timber
that lined the Wabash. His plowing was for the Miami In-
dians, and I did the driving for him. There were two villages
of Indians here at the time, pretty close together ; one was on
a high rise that overlooked the river." This doubtless was
We-au-te-no, known also as Orchard Town. " The squaws
were very much delighted . . . because if we had not
done the work they would have to do it Out
on the other edge of the prairie we built our huts."
In another account, but not in this connection, Mr. Liston
says: " In 181 1, I turned the first furrow that was plowed
in what is now called Vigo county, on the road leading from
Terre Haute to Lockport, on what is represented as the
Dean farm. I with my father Edward Liston, Williarri G.
Adams, William Drake, Reuben Moore, and Martin Adams,
broke, fenced and planted seventy-five acres of corn, and sold
the corn raised to Harrison's army, while building the fort
near the Wabash river. Since that time I have not been
absent from Vigo county to exceed four months at any one
time. During that time I was engaged through the war
pursuing Indians, who were committing depredations on the
settlement below, and burying the dead, who were killed by
them. Isaac Lambert, John Dickson, a Mr. Hudson, Mr.
Chatery and Mr. Mallory, all cultivated the land under the
protection of the fort."
The above testimony of Joseph Liston and Martin
Adams is to be highly prized, but there were others besides
'those whom they mention that should be added to the list of
42 THE HISTORY OF
these earliest pioneers, such as Samuel Aliddleton, Harold
Hayes, who are known to have been here at the building
of the fort. " Mr. Hayes died in iiS20 and was buried in
the old Indian Orchard grave yard." A modest sandstone
iS said marks his grave. Mr. William Naylor for many
years a resident of Terre Haute was among the earliest
pioneers. He was in Harrison's army and helped build the
fort. He was in the battle of Tippecanoe, and was a great
friend and defender of Gen. Harrison. In 1811 he stood
upon the spot where Terre Haute now stands, and " saw no
sign of habitation except the smoke from the Indian wig-
wams in the distance."
Aunty East, as she was familiarly known, w-as an occupant
of the fort. She became the wife of Joseph East, a chair-
maker of the village, some of whose wares are still extant
and testify to the conscientious work of the maker. Mrs.
East lived to a good old age. She was fond of relating her
experiences with the Indians. They made free to enter her
house and to take whatever they could lay their hands on.
On one occasion in driving from the fort into the village,
an Indian stopped her vehicle in the road, and wanted to
" swap horses." She consented but as soon as he left to
bring his horse, she whipped her horse into a run, and got
to the village in safety. Airs. Matilda Taylor was also an
occupant of the fort. She was a daughter of Isaac Anderson,
who was an orderly sergeant in Harrison's army. She was
brought to the fort when eight years of age. In 1824 she
was married to William Taylor. Their home was on North
Third street. In the later years of her life she recalled much
of life in the fort. Among other things she saw the Indians
when in the act of setting fire to the fort. Mrs. Taylor's
daughter is the wife of Mr. Isaac Ball, our respected citizen.
Mr. Ball is a native of New Jersey, and came to Terre Haute
in 1847. During all these years as city undertaker, also as
a private citizen, a neighbor and friend, he has earned
and sustained an enviable reputation for great sincerity, and
uprightness of character. Deserving of mention is the name
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 43
of the celebrated pioneer, Thomas Puckett, who was in the
fort in 1814. His home was in the southeastern part of
Fort Harrison prairie. Puckett's lane for some reason, be-
came prominent as an early land-mark. The memory of
Puckett is intimately connected with a romantic story of his
capturing a bear single handed and driving it from the woods
to his home.
In his official report of the attack on the fort, Captain
Taylor incidentally says : " There were nine women and
two children whose husbands and fathers had taken refuge
in the fort. Already mention has been made of their heroism
in aiding in the defense of the fort. Pages might be filled
v>-ith the recorded accounts of the narrow escapes and
hardships of these earliest pioneers which covered a
period extending from 1809 to 181 5. During this period
Listen was a leading spirit. He is credited with build-
ing the first cabin in the county, near the present site
of Terre Haute, the floors and roof of which were cov-
ered with bark. He was employed as a scout to give
warning to the settlers, when there was danger from
marauding bands of Indians, when whole families would
take refuge in the fort. In addition to what has al-
ready been said. I cannot forbear adding a condensed ac-
count of the hardships endured, as given bv Judge Gookins
in his History of \ igo county. Unfortunately no names are
given. He says : " Two families came here and built cabins
near Walnut Springs, some three miles from the fort. In the
absence of the men, who had gone to procure corn for seed
and food, two. Indians in war costumes, entered the cabin.
The grandmother offered them food and after gorging them-
selves, they quietly departed, leaving the women in hourly
fear of their return. A few days after these same families
learned that a band of Indians were out on a marauding ex-
pedition, and heeding the warnings, they gathered up their ef-
fects and fled to the fort. It is recorded that Captain Taylor
saved these families on another occasion, from the tomahawk
and scalping knife, but no particulars or dates are given.
44 THE HISTORY OF
Brown and ]\IcCarty, two men from the fort about this time
were drawn into ambush, by the gobbHng of the Indians in
imitation of wild turkeys ; and were shot and scalped." In
1814, about two years after Taylor's gallant defense of the
fort, two Frenchmen ventured out of the fort to gather
plums, in a grove, some distance away. Seeing signs that the
Indians had been there they hurried back to the fort. Rein-
forced with some ten others, they returned to the grove where
the Indians awaited them. Five of the men were killed and
one wounded. The wounded man was taken to the fort and
afterwards to Vincennes in a canoe, but died soon after he
arrived there. This period of Indian hostilities closed in
181 8. The Indians gathered together and speedily sued for
peace. And while the security of the settlers was not perfect,
yet a new era had already begun to dawn.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 45
FORT HARRISON CONTINUED
The second period of pioneer life in the Wabash valley
extends from 1816 to 1823. The history of the times and
especially the character of the pioneers justify this division.
As we have seen, the earliest comers from 1809 to 181 5 were
a brave, hardy people. The women, as well as the men,
were not lacking in courage in their combined efforts to estab-
lish western homes. But in 181 5-16 by treaty and by pur-
chase millions of acres of land were now in the possession of
the Government. The battle of Tippecanoe and especially
that of the Thames, where the great Tecumseh was killed,
settled the question of peace not only with the Indians but
with Great Britain. The pioneer now was a prospector. He
would buy large tracts of land, either as an individual or as
an agent of a land company. He would select town sites,
build grist-mills, lay out roads, set up fences, establish courts
of justice, postoffices. open stores, in fact would do all that
was needful in developing the country. True the Indian was
abroad in the land, and although friendly, the Old fort as
a refuge, could not as yet be dispensed with. It was at the
fort where for the most part all who came by water landed.
It was the " head house," whatever that may mean, for all
the settlers in the Wabash valley. It was a boarding house
for all who chose to enjoy its hospitality.
In 1815. Joseph Richardson and Abram Markle came to the,
fort on horseback. They were prospecting for homes in the
Wabash valley. They were delighted with the " beautiful
land," and after remaining some time, returned for their fam-
ilies. Preparations fully made, they crossed the Alleghany
mountains to Olean, on the Allegheny river. Here three
46 THE IIISTORV OF
boats were built, one by ]Mr. Richardson, one by Mr. IMarkle,
and one by Captain Daniel Stringham. Ijesidcs the owners
and their families, there was Joshua Olds and his family ;
also the Redford family, the father of whom having died on
the wav here. This family then consisted of the widow, four
sons and one daughter. ^ The daughter was afterwards mar-
ried to John F. King, for many years a prominent druggist in
the village. The Stringhams were a large family. One of
the sons left home before the family came to Indiana, and in
time became the " eminent Rear Admiral Silas H. String-
ham." One of the daughters married Judge Randolph H.
Wedding, who was a familiar personage on our streets,
though his home was in the country. There were still others
in the company, and together they formed " the first impor-
tant colony that came into Vigo county." They floated their
boats down to Pittsburg, then down to the mouth of the
Wabash, and then poled their way up to Fort Harrison. On
the 4th of July, 18 16, when this little flotilla landed at the
fort " a salute of fifteen guns was fired, as they hove in sight.
The garrison was out in their gayest uniforms, and when
the women and children began to clamber up the banks, the
soldiers and officers hurrahed, and threw up their caps."
The welcome was a hearty one, and long to be remembered
by the members of this new^ colony, and by their descendants
]\Ir. Joseph Richardson was the father of Geo. B. and Sarah
Elizabeth, whose ages respectively at the time of landing
at the fort, were twelve and three years old. Sarah E. after-
wards became the wife of Dr. Edward V. Ball, who was a
life-long physician in Terre Haute. Mr. Richardson in his
prospecting tour, had already selected a farm on Fort Har-
rison prairie, which he expected to purchase, and so brought
wath him in his boat, farming implements. He also brought
with him a covered family carriage, which was the first car-
riage in Vigo county. It is said that the carriage did not
long retain its leathern top. since the Indians stealthily cut
OiT strip after strip, till it was all gone. Air. Richardson
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 47
secured a small cabin, near the fort for his family. Soon
afterwards he was called to Washington on business. About
this time there was dissatisfaction among the Indians, which
so increased as to create more or less alarm among the whites.
Mrs. Richardson had been greatly annoyed by the Indians.
She kept on her bureau a bright metal dish, and a silver
castor. The Indians would enter the house, seize these
articles, swing them over their heads, exclaiming: " In one
moon " or " two moons," as the case might be, " this will
be mine." Finally the Indians decked in their war paint
danced in front of the settlers' cabins. They said it was their
beggar's dance, as they were going on a hunt and wanted
provisions for their squaws. Late the next night Mrs.
Richardson was warned to go into the fort, as the Indians
were crossing the river with muffled paddles, and evidently
meant mischief. She remained in the fort for three days,
when she determined to face all dangers, and take her family
to Vincennes. This was done by the help of two boatmen.
It is recorded that at the time of her leaving, the Indians
lined the shore of the river, and watched her movements in
silence; but when the boat was pushed off, " they jumped to
their feet and shouted: ' Brave Squaw! Brave Squaw! ' " It
is further said, " that I\Ir. Richardson instead of purchasing
the farm was compelled, in order to secure monev that he had
loaned, to take land in Clark county, Illinois; where he
laid out the town of York. Thus Vigo county was cheated
of one of her earliest and best settlers." But we have with us
at this writing many of his descendants, who are among the
most reputable families of the city.
Mr. Abram Markle was a remarkable man. He was a
stalwart, the right kind of material to build up a new country.
He was born in Ulster county, New York. His family was
one of the most prominent in the county. When quite voung,
he went to Upper Canada. Here he acquired fame and for-
tune. He became a member of the Provincial parliament,
but in the breaking out of the war in 1812, he returned to
his heme in New York, and entered the armv with the rank of
48 THE HISTORY OF
Major, for this his property in Canada was confiscated. The
United States commissioners, however, made him large
grants of land warrants, and extra pay. He was forehanded
therefore when he landed at Fort Harrison. With these war-
rants he took up several sections of land, among which was
a large tract including the spot where Fort Harrison now
stands. In building his grist-mill on Otter creek he became
a benefactor to the whole of this Wabash country. Before
the erection of this mill, the new settlers were compelled
either to grate or pound the corn, for there was no mill to
grind it short of Vincennes. Markle's mill therefore was
a center of activity. The burring of the stones was music
to the farmer's ear, as he drove up his horse or ox wagon,
well filled with sacks of corn and wheat ; or rode up astride
of a single sack, thrown across the back of his horse, to wait
his turn to have his grain ground. Mr. Markle's eldest
daughter married Nathaniel P. Huntington, noted as the first
lawyer, who opened an office in Terre Haute. Major Markle
died in 1826 at the age of fifty-seven years. He left a large
Mr. Curtis Gilbert, a native of Middletown, Connecticut,
arrived at Fort Harrison in December, 181 5, with a stock
of goods from Vincennes. The goods were taken from the
keelboat and deposited in the fort. In the summer of 18 16,
he established a trading post at the mouth of the Vermillion
river. In the fall of that year, he was taken sick and com-
pelled to return to the fort. On December 4th, 181 7. he was
commissioned as Postmaster at the fort ; and continued as
such till October 26th, 181 8. when the office was removed
to the village of Terre Haute.
General Peter B. Allen was one among the early pioneers.
He was born in Massachusetts, but came directly to Indiana
from the State of New York in 18 18, by the usual route,
"down the Ohio," "tip the Wabash," "by keel boat." He
entered large tracts of land, northeast of the city. Among his
large family of children, his daughter Catherine was married
to Curtis Gilbert; his son Henry, served in the war of 1812;
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 49
and his son Ira, in the Black Hawk war. The Terre Haute
Aliens, Edward B. and George M., also Nathaniel, are the
lineal descendants of General Peter B. Allen, of pioneer
It must not be forgotten that the fort was honored by the
presence of Mr. Chauncey Rose, who, as a prospector,
stopped as a day boarder. In a published account of an old
settlers' meeting held in Terre Haute, September, 1875, at
which a paper by Mr. Rose was read by Col. R. W.
Thompson, who presided. The following is a brief ex-
tract: 'Tn the fall of 1817 I traveled in the States
of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and
Alabama, looking for a locality at which to reside and
engage in business. I spent several days in Terre
Haute : it had been laid out the previous year. The
following winter I spent in Kentucky. Favorably impressed
with the location in and about Terre Haute, I returned and
became a resident. In April, 1818, there were but two cabins
in Terre Haute, occupied respectively by Dr. C. B. Modesitt,
and \\'illiam Mars. The nearest boarding place was at Fort
Harrison, where I boarded, where also the county officers
boarded at a house kept by Mrs. Stewart. The fall was very
sickly and many settlers staid at the fort. Friendly Indians in
various numbers and different tribes roamed in the neigh-
borhood The first settlers were intelligent and
worthy pioneers, a very superior class of men and wom.en."
It is with the greatest pleasure that I republish the v.ords
of one whose honored name is daily on the lips of rich and
poor, old and young, of our citizens. It falls to the lot of few
men to become so prominently enthroned for all time in the
hearts of a grateful people. By his munificent benefactions
we have the Rose Ladies Aid Society, the ^ose Polytechnic,
the Rose Orphan Home, and the Rose Dispensary. Some
time, nay, let it be a time not far hence, when our city in
grateful remembrance of her munificent patron, shall set
apart large grounds for a Chauncey Rose Park ; in the center
of which shall stand a bronze statue of Chauncey Rose.
50 THE IlISTORV OF
But as yet Mr. Rose is a young man, seeking a location to
do business. He makes the fort his headquarters. He rides
across the prairie to i\lr. Abram Markle's cabin, where he
talks of land and land sales ; especially of a large tract lying
due ea>t of the new village of Terre Haute ; of his grist
ii.ill at Roseville; of the removal of the Postofihce from the
fort to the village ; of the closing up of the fort ; and of the
new arrivals at the vil'age. A village made possible by the
fort, but which in turn makes the existence of the fort un-
necessary. The former must increase, but the latter must de-
crease. The fall of the fort is therefore a matter of congratu-
lation rather than regret. It marks the close of the earliest
pioneer period. All comers will henceforth arrive either by
land or by the river at the village, concerning whose site and
builders we are now ready to hear. But one parting word is
due the Old fort before entering upon the next chapter.
In 1822 the fort ceased to be a military post. Of necessity
it must from that date have begun to fall into decay. It is
well understood that many of the old logs of the fort were
worked into a one-story house, which afterwards was cov-
ered with weather-boarding and stands just at the rear of the
place where the fort stood. These old logs now hid from
view, some old trees, and a big stone sunk in the ground,
which you search in vain to find, are all that remain to tell
of the history of the place. By no means ! for here to the de-
light of the eye of the visitor is the high bluff commanding
an extensive view to the east, also to the west, with the ap-
proach of the river from the north and its graceful curve as it
recedes to the south and west, all of ivhich must ever remain
to mark the spot where Fort Harrison once stood.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 5 1
THE FOUNDING OF THE VILLAGE
Terre Haute was laid out in 1816, the same year in which
our state was organized. The original plat comprised thirty-
five blocks, and was bounded on the north, by Eagle street ;
on the east, by Fifth street; on the south, by Swan street; on
the west, by Water street. Of these blocks, one was set off for
a public square ; a part of another for a church, the site of
the old Asbury M. E. Church on the northwest corner of
Poplar and Fourth streets ; and a part of another, for a
school building, the present site of the ist Ward City School-
house. The land office records at Vincennes, show that
Joseph Kitchell entered the tract of land now occupied by
Terre Haute; also that on Sept. 19th, 1816, only a few days
afterwards, the same tract was sold to the Terre Haute Land
Company. This company consisted of Cuthbert and Thomas
Bullitt, of Louisville, Kentucky ; Abram Markle, of Fort
Harrison ; Hyacinth Lasselle, of Vincennes ; and Jonathan
Lindley, of Orange county. There was an amended plat
filed in 1819; also in 1820-21. In one of these a lot was re-
served for a cemetery.
In regard to the original site, there is some confusion.
We are all familiar with the name of Old Terre Haute, which
lies some three miles south of us. The distinctive word
" Old " seems to indicate that this was the original location
of the town. One authority so affirms, and gives as a reason
for the change, that when the company learned that the
great National road was to cross the Wabash three miles
above, they moved the town thither. Even Judge Gookins
was led away by the plausibility of this statement, and says
in regard to the change : " Probably the principal reason was
52 THI-: HISTORY OF
that the national road already projected, would cross the
Wabash at this point." But the incongruity lies in the fact,
that while the town was laid out in 1816, the work on the
road through Indiana, was in 1835-1840. After the above
was written, the following statement was pointed out to me
on page 308 in the Appendix of the Early History of Illinois,
Sidney Bresse, 1884; " Congress by the act of 1816, author-
ized the construction of a national road from Cumberland, in
Maryland, to the Ohio; and by the act of 1825, directed its
continuation through the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and
to the seat of government of the State of Missouri." This is
specific and satisfactory, but as everything bearing upon the
choice of the location of our city is of profound interest, I
quote in substance the following from H. C. Bradsby's His-
tory of Vigo County, 1891.
William Hoggatt was a civil engineer, employed by the
Company to lay out the town. James Boord seems to have
been his assistant, and resided with him in Orange county.
Jonathan Lindley was a member of the Land Company. He
was a Quaker, a man of prominence, as he represented
Orange county in the first State legislature. In 1816,
Hoggatt after riding up and down the river, and having
decided upon our present site, informed Air. Lindley of the
place he had selected. Mr. L's reply was : " William, don't
thee think, that thee has made a mistake? Don't thee think,
that thee should have selected Old Terre Haute, or Fort Har-
rison?" Mr. Hoggatt explained, that while Fort Harrison
was a beautiful place, yet the river bends to the west, and
the bottom runs out just below the fort; and that while Old
Terre Haute stands on a high bluff, the same objection holds ;
that by the turn of the river, the bottom encroaclies on the
east side. " But ivhere I have selected the river runs straight,
the land is higli, a beautiful place for a town. If built here
it zvill sonic day become a great city." " Well, well," said
Lindley, " William, thee is an engineer, and thee should
All prai.se to engineer Hoggatt and to the good Quaker
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 53
sense of Jonathan Lindley, the representative of the Land
Company. So much for the selection of the site, but whom
shall we thank for ihe name?
We are told that the French fur traders as they passed in
their pirogues up and down the Wabash, gave the name of
Terre Haute to all the high banks along the river. So that
the name was waiting for the town; and it made no differ-
ence where it was located, whether at the fort ; or what
was called Old Terre Haute ; or at our present location.
There may or may not be something in a name, but when
nature suggests, and man rightly interprets, the result is
likely to be good. In this case, at least, it was most happy.
But how the poor name has suffered in its pronunciation at
the hands of the unlettered Hoosier, and of the would-be edu-
cated Yankee. A minister of the Presbyterian Church in one
of our eastern states, wrote to his brother, who resided here,
inquiring how he should pronounce the name of the village ;
"Was the pronunciation to be as if spelled Ta-ra H6-ta? "
No one misunderstands the name on the lips of a native
Hoosier, though he calls it, as if written : Tar Hut, Tar Hute,
Terry Hiit, Tarry Hiit, or Tarry Hawt. From the first, how-
ever, the pronunciation of the name by our townspeople has
been as if spelled : Tare O'te ; and then our name as a people,
should be pronounced, Tare-O'-te-ans.
It is well nigh impossible to form a correct idea of the
picturesque situation of the village, from our present flat
and level streets. The roll of the prairie, which was a ridge
running, north and south, parallel with the river, was a de-
light to the eye. Then there was a gully at the crossing of
Chestnut and Third streets, which served as a drain to carry
to the river the excess of water from the plateau above.
Where the Normal School building now stands, was regarded
and spoken of as " On the hill," as the ascent on Mulberry
street towards the east proved. Then the outstretching
prairie was on a bright morning, an inspiration. In the
common parlance of those early days, we went " Up the
prairie," " Down the prairie," or " Across the prairie." Be-
54 Till-: HISTORY OF
sides the prairie did not, as would now appear, extend to the
river. Tall sycamores with their great trunks, and extended
while arms, lined the immediate banks ; while other forest
trees with oak saplings, and hazel bushes, flourished up on
what was called " Sixteen," and as far east as Fifth and Sixth
streets. While every stroke of the axe and every driven stake
of the engineer, has been in the interest of civilization, yet
it has been at the expense of the natural beauty of the land-
As suggested by William Hoggatt, the engineer, the nat-
ural course of the river made practicable the laying ofif of par-
allel streets, directly north and south. Third street or Market,
as it was called, was intended to be, by its extra width, the
main avenue of the village. Besides, this avenue extended on
the north, into the pack horse and wagon road to Lafayette;
and on the south, it connected with a similar road leading to
Vincennes. This Lafayette, and this Vincennes road linked
together by Third or Market street constituted what was
known as the Old State road. The outlook therefore at this
time for commerce or trade, was north or south, either by the
river or by these roads. There was no public road east or
west, as Indianapolis was not laid out until 1821. But when
a public road was opened from Indianapolis, we became in
the best possible sense, a cross-road village, with our center at
the crossing of Main and Market streets. It is this geo-
graphical position that has given our city an advantage from
the first, for not only did the great National road come to us
but the great Trunk railways, also, in their traversing of the
country from east to west.
As yet, however, we are but a single remove from a paper
town. The town was laid out Oct. 25, 1816, and the first sale
of lots took place Oct. 31st, of the same year. In 18 17 there
were but two cabins, of which one was built by Dr. Charles
B. Modesitt, and the other by William Mars. But the year
1817 was one of preparation. There were new comers not
only to occupy the village, but desirable colonies to take up
the farms in the adjacent country. These latter were a most
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 55
important element for the building of a village. As yet we
were in Sullivan county. There was a prospect, however, of
the erection of a new county, and when done, it was a fore-
gone conclusion that our village would be the county seat.
This will be treated in the next chapter.
56 THE HISTORY OF
FOUNDING OF THE VILLAGE — CONTINUED
By an act of the legislature of Indiana, approved by the
Governorjan. 21st, i8i8,Vigo countywas erected. Whether
this was or was not a surprise to the Terre Haute Land Com-
])anv wc are not informed ; but evidently it was a matter of
rejoicing to all concerned in the immediate future of the
newly platted town. It seems natural, however, that the
Land Company should have been kept apprised of the doings
of the legislature, since Jonathan Lindley was one of its influ-
ential members at the time. At any rate the company Avere
on the alert and quick to act, as we find them dining the new
commissioners at the fort. This was in part a necessity as the
fort was the " head house " of the county ; but behind this
there was a method and an evident purpose. It was the
golden opportunity of the Land Company, and they improved
it by liberal offers ; and when the bid of $4000.00 was made
as a bonus, the commissioners accepted it, and from that
time Terre Haute became the County Seat of Vigo county.
Already the Land Company as proprietors of the town, had
provided a public square for a Court House ; and now the
commissioners with the liberal donation in hand, set about
the building of the same, which was completed for occupancy
The success of the new town is now assured. The lot
purchasers can now with confidence go forward and build.
Dr. Charles B. Modesitt w'as among the early prospectors.
He had faith in the town. He was a large purchaser of lots
at the first sale ; and then returned to Old A^irginia for his
family which consisted of a wife, son and daughter. They
traveled for the most part on horseback. The daughter,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 57
who was quite young, was seated in front of her father,
with a pillow for her saddle. This daughter after-
wards became the wife of ^Ir. Chauncey Warren, one of our
early and most respected citizens. Dr. Modesitt was edu-
cated as a physician and after settling in Terre Haute prac-
tised his profession. His name, therefore will be found in the
chapter on Early Physicians ; but he was evidently a man of
affairs. He had the reputation of building the first log-house
in the village. It was made of round logs. He afterwards
built a two-story hewed log house, on the corner of Third
and Poplar streets. He established a ferry across the Wabash
in 1818. The boat was flat-bottomed; and was pushed by
poles, when the river was low ; and propelled by oars when it
was high. There is a question whether this was the first
ferry, as another record states that Touissant Dubois was
licensed to establish a ferry at Terre Haute Nov. lo, 1818.
Among the early pioneers and builders was Henry Red-
ford, who came with the other members of his family, and
landed with the New York colony at the fort in 1815. He
built the celebrated Eagle and Lion on the southeast corner
of First and 'Slain streets.
Another early pioneer, who has already been referred to as
an occupant of the fort, was Curtis Gilbert. He was a
pioneer of the village, and a heavy land purchaser. He lived
to see his out lots platted and his farms also, that laid adja-
cent to the city. So soon as the question of the County Seat
was settled in 1819, he arranged for the erection of a large
two-story frame house on the northeast corner of Ohio and
Water streets, suitable for public purposes. The upper part
of the building was occupied by the County court, and the
lower story by the Postoffice. 'Sir. Gilbert was the first clerk
of Vigo county ; and by successive elections served in that
capacity for twenty-one years. The duties of the office at that
time, included that of recorder and auditor. It is said that
the records kept by him " are as precise and beautiful as
copper plate." 'Sir. Gilbert was prominent in all public
movements that had for their end the prosperity of the vil-
58 THE HISTORY OF
lage. In 1824 he was placed on the Board of Trustees of the
\"\go county Hbrary. In 1834 he took part in the organiza-
tion of the Branch Bank of Indiana, and was made director.
Our village was most happy in having such men as Curtis
Gilbert among its founders. The descendants of Mr. Gilbert
are among our most worthy citizens of to-day. Mr. Gilbert
was born in Middletown, Conn., 1795, and died in Florida at
the home of his daughter in 1877.
Judge Demas Deming was another early pioneer. He was
l)orn in Berlin, Conn., in 1787. After completing his educa-
tion in his native town, he entered the regular army as second
lieutenant. After serving two years he resigned. In 1818,
he came to Terre Haute and at once engaged in merchandiz-
ing. He purchased large tracts of land lying east of the town.
His life-long residence on South Sixth street still stands a
prominent land mark. Mr. Deming was one of the Associate
judges, with Judge Joseph Jenckes, and Hon. Thomas H.
Blake. As the Common law of England was the standard in
the courts of this country, the Associate judges were not com-
pelled to be professional lawyers. Common sense and a keen
sense of right and justice were the main requisites of a
good Associate judge. Judge Deming helped to organize the
Terre Haute Board of the State Bank of Indiana in 1834.
He was one of the directors and was chosen president and
served in that capacity for eighteen years. After his decease
his widow resided for many years with her children in the old
homestead. Her maiden name was Patterson. Her father
came from Ireland and settled at Vincennes in 18 14. The
munificent gift of Mrs. Deming, of a large tract of ground
located east of the city on the side of the blufif for a City Park,
will keep fresh in memory the Deming name for years to
In addition to what has been said in a previous chapter, a
few more words are due to the memory of Chauncey Rose
as a far-sighted business man. After traveling as he tells us,
over several states, he foresaw the probabilities of the Wabash
valley in the immediate neighborhood of Fort Harrison. He
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 59
at once became a permanent settler and heavy land owner.
Next to permanent settlers, the county needed grist mills.
Such a mill he built on Raccoon creek, a place which became
known as Roseville. So soon as pioneers pushed into the
village of Terre Haute, he saw an opening for a country-
store ; and so he became one of the successful merchants as
early as 1824. ]\Ir. Rose was brought up on a farm, and he
gratified his taste in this direction, in the management of
the broad acres adjoining the east and northeast portion of
As the years passed and the canal fever subsided, he was
the first to grasp the possibility of a railroad ; which in due
time resulted in the Richmond and Indianapolis Railroad.
Successful in every advancing step, this of all others proved
the greatest enterprise, not only for the city, but for himself
also, as it brought into market his farm lands.
His wealth grew apace. .To his own were added by in-
heritance the vast accumulations of a brother in New York
city. And it became a grave question with him how to
make a wise disposition of it. He is said to have remarked
to a friend : " Other people have trouble to make money,
but my trouble is how to dispose of it." In this difificult
task, his good sense and foresight did not fail him. First
of all he chose wise counselors. Among these, by way of
eminence, should be mentioned the lamented Col. W. K.
Edwards, a man with whom he could advise ; and
whose advice he could accept. In many of ]\Ir.
Rose's original papers the hand and brain of Air. Edwards
are visible. Col. Edwards was probably the only man who
could have given a correct list of Mr. Rose's private benefac-
tions. We only know in general, that he gave an half million
here, and an half million there.
In July, 1869, he endowed the Ladies Aid Society of Terre
Haute with ninety thousand dollars. By a graceful act of the
Society, in January, 1892, the name was changed to the Rose
Ladies Aid Society.
His noble gift to Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana,
6o THE HISTORY OF
amounted to some eighty thousand dollars. This was doubt-
less prompted by his sister, Airs. Israel Williams, who with
her husband resitled in Terre Haute for a number of years;
both of whom were deeply interested in this young college.
In New York city once the home of his deceased brother,
Mr. Rose invested two millions of dollars in the founding
of three separate beneficent institutions. In Charlestown,
South Carolina, he made large donations to several worthy
objects of pu])lic charity. I have already spoken of the
three magnificent institutions reared to his memory in Terre
Haute; but besides these he made liberal provisions for a
librar\- in the State Normal School ; also for the aid-
ing of worthy students in the same institutions. He endowed
the Vigo County Providence Hospital. Besides the above
who shall tell of his private benefactions, concerning which
he said nothing to his most intimate friends. ]\Ir. Chauncey
Rose was born in Weathersfield, Connecticut, Dec. 24, 1794,
and died in Terre Haute Aug. 13, 1877, in the eighty-fourth
year of his age. As a village and a city Terre Haute owes a
lasting debt of gratitude to the memory of Mr. Chauncey
There are numberless pioneers who came in this period
from 181 5 to 1824, whose prominence as merchants, law-
yers, doctors and business men demand immediate attention ;
but to avoid confusion I have thought best to classify and so
consider them in separate chapters.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 6 1
As intimated in a former chapter, the Postoffice was here
before the town. The duties of the office could not have been
onerous ; but Mr. Gilbert as Postmaster rendered important
service to the department at Washington, by helping to locate
new offices in Indiana. When his office was moved from the
fort to the village, in October, 1818, there were less than a
dozen log cabins in the town. Mr. Gilbert having been
elected County clerk, Mr. John M. Coleman received the ap-
pointment of Postmaster, in his stead. If reports can be
credited, ]Mr. Coleman set up at once a free delivery system.
To understand this it must be remembered that a man's hat
in those days was a very important part of his outfit. He
used its tall crown as a receptacle for his big red silk hand-
kerchief, his gloves, and any other loose articles he might
be carrying. It is said Mr. Coleman readily converted his
big hat into a letter pouch. The letters deposited in the hat,
with the handkerchief to hold them in, he cheerfully started
forth on his rounds. Meeting a friend for whom he had a
letter, he would dof¥ his hat, and deliver the same, provided
the friend had the required twenty-five cents postage. If
not, the letter was returned to the hat, and sometimes to the
dead letter office, at Washington. In writing to friends,
often such words as the following were used : " Please don't
write, unless there is something important to communicate.
We have everything in abundance here, excepting money."
Even^iliose who had money to spare, often scanned the out-
side of a letter in doubt as to whether to take it from the
office. As an occasion for such doubts, a gentleman took out
a letter addressed to him, and found a notice from one of
62 THE HISTORY OF
his debtors w hich read : " That he had taken the benefit of the
bankrupt law." The Wabash Courier (1832) suggests that
correspondents prepay postage, and adds : " Two letters re-
ceived from one person consumed one-eighth of the subscrip-
tion price in postage."
Even at so exorbitant a charge as twenty-five cents for
a single letter the department at Washington was too often
the loser, when we consider the long distances, the sparseness
of population, and the condition of the roads. The stage
coach companies at that day had much to contend against,
especially in the badness of the roads. The coaches and mud
wagons told the story as they came into town covered with
yellow clay. Travelers had endless stories to tell, of walking
up the hills, also of carrying fence rails to pry the stage out
of mud holes. These tales of travelers were all within the
range of possibility ; but the stories of the stage driver in the
bar-room of the country tavern, were remarkable if not alto-
gether credible. Possessed of a vivid imagination, he was
the center of attraction, as he related his wonderful ex-
perience on the road. There was one locality, between Terre
Haute and Indianapolis, called the Devil's half acre, that was
so bad, that draw as he might upon his imagination, he
scarcely awakened incredulity in his hearers. In solemn
soberness, he would relate how- more than once he lost sight
of his leaders as they plunged along through this fearful
slough. Entering into particulars he would describe the fear-
fulness of the place ; the darkness of the night ; the names
and disposition of his horses ; how well they behaved in their
desperate struggle ; how they seemed to comprehend the w'ork
before them, and knew^ just what to do. In the fiercest of
the struggle, he never cracked his whip, nor uttered a word,
unless gently to quiet and encourage them. By the way of
contrast, he would draw^ a highly colored picture of the be-
havior of some of his passengers, wdien requested to leave
their comfortable seats, and help the horses by prying up the
wheels of the stage. Then the good Yankee aunties for the
sake of amusement, were given a prominent place in the
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 63
Story; especially some old lady who bemoaned the day she
ever left her comfortable home on the hillside, to find a grave
in this dreadful country.
It was a magnificent sight for the small boy, in those early
days, to witness the stage driver four in hand, drive into the
village ; to hear the blast of his long tin horn, and the
crack of his whip ; altogether it was something that impressed
itself indelibly upon his memory. Every small boy likes a
whip, but a stage driver's whip was his ideal ; something to
admire, but not to handle. The whip itself was a work of art.
The stock was of tough hickory, long, slender, and elastic,
with a heavy butt end, ornamented sometimes with flat silver
rings, and sometimes with bone knobs ; having a lash scien-
tifically plaited of thin strips of leather, on the end of which
was attached what was called the cracker, made of plaited
sewing silk. To crack the whip near to the tip of the ears of
his leaders was an accomplishment even for an expert driver.
This was possible by bending over and reaching forward,
as the stock of the whip was four feet and the lash ten feet
long. I have this from a friend and fellow-townsman who
in his early days had been a stage driver, and whose stage had
been honored by such notables as Henry Clay, Abraham Lin-
coln, and Stephen A. Douglas.
At the back of the stage there was an attachment called the
boot for trunks and especially for mail bags. These boots
were wooden racks strongly fastened to the rear of the stage
body, covered with heavy leather flaps, which were buckled
down with strong straps. A commendable degree of pride
showed itself in the movements of the driver, as he drew his
horses up in front of the village Postoffice, and stepped down
from his high seat, and took from the boot the mail sacks
and delivered them to the Postmaster. But all this display
and western dash was in turn displaced by the steady going
mail wagon ; and the monotonous rip, rip, rippity, rip of the
iron wheels of the railway coach. Times change. Manners
change. In losing we gain ; and in gaining we lose.
It was a new era when the Pony express was put on the
64 THE HISTORY OF
road as a swift mail carrier. The boy on his pony galloping
over the old yellow bridge on the National road, and sound-
ing his horn as he came into town, is a pleasant reminiscence
of the days of 1840. In the growing demand for news from
the far off east, the Pony express was appreciated when com-
pared with the slow and lumbering four-horse coach.
The sources of information in respect to early Postoffices
and Postmasters are limited; and yet I supposed that the
records at our city Postoffice would give lists of Postmasters,
with their terms of service; also the locality of office, up to
1840. But in calling on my friend, Mr. Frank E. Benjamin,
I was assured that his office contained no such ancient rec-
ords. ]\Ir. Benjamin's knowledge of Terre Haute Post-
masters extended back to the time of Mr. Joseph O. Jones,
with whom he had often conversed in regard to the affairs of
the office, during Mr. Jones's incumbency. The facts, how-
ever, so far as I have been able to gather them may be stated
as follows : there seems to be no question but that the office
was first established at Fort Harrison, and that Mr. Curtis
Gilbert was commissioned Postmaster on Dec. 4, 181 7. He
continued in this office till Oct. 18, 1818, when it was moved
to the town, and located in a frame building on the northeast
corner of Ohio and Water streets ; when Mr. John M. Cole-
man was appointed Postmaster. All this as noted above, was
in 1 8 18, and seems reliable, although there are counter state-
ments as to where it was first located.
How long the office remained in the Gilbert building is un-
certain. There is a statement apparently reliable, that some
time previous to 1824, Mr. William Linton erected a frame
building near the southeast corner of Main and Third streets,
which was occupied by him as a store and Postoffice. In this
Mr. Linton is made to act in the double capacity of store-
keeper and Postmaster; but another chronicler relates: that
Mr. John M. Coleman held the office till 1828, when Mr.
John F. Cruft was appointed in his stead. He was succeeded
by Mr. Frank Cunningham. There is a break here till Dr.
George Graff was appointed, who held the office till 1839,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 65
when he resigned and Air. J. O. Jones was appointed by the
Postmaster General under President \'an Buren. The Post-
office was located in Dr. Graff's office on First street, north of
Main, Mr. Jones, however, soon moved it to a one-story
brick on the north side of Ohio, an extension in the rear of
]\Ir. Henry Rose's store, which was on the northwest corner of
Second and Ohio streets. Here the business increased, and
j\Ir. Jones received a commission for four years from Feb.
1841, from President Van Buren. This is said to be tke first
presidential appointment. Xot a few of the old residents of
1840 easily recall the little one-story brick Postoffice around
the corner on Ohio street, with its array of numbered private
boxes ; and its square opening in the center, for general de-
livery. The rentals of the boxes were the perquisites of the
But what about the mail service previous to 1840? The
Terre Haute Register, a pioneer paper established in Terre
Haute in 1823. has the following record, Dec. 1826: " Terre
Haute has advanced to the dignity of a weekly mail.''
In 1825 mail stages ran three times a week to Cincinnati,
by the way of Indianapolis ; three times a week, to Louis-
ville, and Evansviile ; twice a week to Lafayette : and once a
week to Springfield, Illinois.
In 1 841 the mails arrived by stages and horse-back, from
the east, daily ; from the west, three times a week ; and from
the south, three times a week. Already in the mail service,
and in almost every line of activity, the town in 1840 was
claiming cityhood, and was fast becoming what it claimed to
66 TUE HISTOKV OF
THE FIRST COURT HOUSE AND JAIL
So soon as the Commissioners had decided upon Terre
Haute as the County seat, they began to arrange for the
buikhng of a Court House. In the meantime, by the act of
the legislature, at Cory don ; all courts of justice should meet
at the house of Truman Blackman, near Fort Harrison,
whence they might adjourn to any other suitable place near
the center of the county. Tradition has it, that they did on
divers occasions adjourn to meet on a certain big log, suit-
able on account of its size, nearness to the fort, and coolness
of shade. This for tradition, is well enough, as it is in keep-
ing with the times ; but the facts are that adjourned meet-
ings were held in the same log house of Truman Blackman,
till coming to the village, when the meetings were held at
the Eagle and the Lion, and in the upper story of the frame
house built by Curtis Gilbert.
The facts in regard to the building of the Court House
are meagre ; but from entries made in the public records un-
der date of May 13, 181 8, we learn, that Nathaniel P. Hunt-
ington was allowed $10.00 for drawing up bonds; John M.
Coleman $350.00 in part pay for building foundations ; Wil-
liam Durham $400.00 in part pay for building walls, Elihu
Hovey and John Brocklebank $300.00 in part pay for btiild-
ing Court House. In November, 1818, the public records
show that Charles B. Modesitt was allowed $25.00 for
" clearing off the public square." Evidently the work of
building the Court House began in 1818, though it was not
completed till 1822.
The building was of brick and in size and architecture
quite suitable for the purpose intended. The east door, with
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
its broad arched transom, was quite imposing. The interior
was elaborately but plainly finished with elevated box seats,
rising one above the other, and reached by steps in the sev-
eral aisles. The south side thus seated was for the accom-
modation of the people. A center aisle ran through the
center of the building, from east to west, separating the north
part of the room, which was for the express use of the court.
Here was the judge's elevated bench or long desk, which
was reached on either side by steps guarded by heavy rail-
ing: immediately in front of which on the floor, the lawyers
had their long tables; while the jurors had their elevated box
seats on the left of the judge's bench
THE FIRST COURT HOUSE, 1818-1866
At this bar we are told began the career of some of the
most noted lawyers of Indiana. Such men as Thomas H.
Blake, James Whitcomb, Elisha M. Huntington, Edward A.
68 THE HISTORY OF
llannegan and others, mention of whom will be made in the
proposed chapter on Early Courts, Laws and Lawyers.
The Court House was not completed till 1822, and then
only the lower part was finished. It was not only the County
house for all court business, political gatherings, and for
holding elections, but the Town house for all public meetings
of the citizens. Here churches were organized, lectures de-
livered, Sunday schools taught, and sermons preached, by
local as well as circuit riding preachers. It is a matter of
record that Joe Smith and Sydney Rigdon sometime in
1834-35 held meetings in our Court House, in defense of
Mormonism. Crowds attendee! to hear these exponents of
this new religion.
While the old Court House was still in it^ prime. Col.
Francis Vigo, after whom our county had been named, paid
a visit to Terre Haute, by the urgent invitation of prominent
citizens. This visit occurred July 4th, 1832. His home
was in Vincennes. and though he was now past ninety years
of age it is said that he retained much of his natural vigor,
both of body and mind. As an honored guest every atten-
tion was shown him. That he was greatly pleased with his
visit appears from an article in his will which was written
two years after, as the will is dated Dec. 9, 1834. The
article reads : " Whereas, The county of Vigo, has been
named after me, and I feel towards it and its citizens a
great degree of esteem and affection for many favors con-
ferred and services rendered me, especially by the inhabi-
tants of Terre Haute : it is my wall, wish, and desire and
earnest request that if the claim aforesaid is recovered, and
the amount due me, paid to my executors, that they or some
one of them, shall pay out of the sum $500 to the county of
Vigo, to be laid out, by the commissioners of said county, or
in such other mode as shall be deemed most desirable by said
county, in the purchase of a bell for the court house of said
countv, on which shall be inscribed ' Presented by Francis
The claim of Francis Vigo, referred to above, was for
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 69
money loaned to the government by which Gen. Geo. Rogers
Clark was able to provide rations for his soldiers in their
march for the recapturing of \'incennes in 1779. which had
fallen into the hands of the English. The part that Col.
Vigo and Father Gibault took in this campaign cannot be
set forth here, but suffice it to say, that next to Gen. Clark
they were important factors in this first grand effort in
wresting all this Northwest country from the hands of the
British. The story of the unsuccessful efforts of Col. Vigo
to have his just claim recognized by the Government is pa-
thetic, in that it came too late to minister to his private re-
lief. It dragged along for about one hundred years before
it was finally allowed. The original amount loaned by Col.
Mgo in 1779 was $11,387.40 for which he received four
drafts on the financial agent of Virginia, a Mr. Oliver Pol-
lock, of New Orleans. When at last these drafts were al-
lowed by Congress, the principal and interest amounted to
some $50,000. This final judgment was rendered in 1875,
and the money was paid over in 1876. The $500 set apart
by the will was paid by the executors ; and the county records
show that this was done by our late fellow townsman, Mr.
T. C. Buntin, a distant relative of Col. \'igo, in April, 1876.
The village Court House of 1818-1822. where Col. Vigo m-
tended his bell should find its place, was declared unfit for
further use and ordered to be torn down about the year 1868,
but in August, 1884, the corner stone of our present mag-
nificent structure was laid, and the commissioners were only
too glad to carry out the wishes of Col. Yigo, and use his
bequest as a nucleus in the purchase of a bell and clock for
the new building. In order to satisfy me and others that
may be interested, as to the diligence of the commissioners
in the discharge of their duty, my son, H. A. Condit,
clambered into the belfry and found the following lettering
on the bell :
" By His Will $500 of the Cost of this Bell were Presented
BY FRANCIS VIGO to Vigo County, Ind..
A. D., 1887."
70 TIIK HISTORY OF
The names of the County commissioners as inscribed on
a metal plate, and nailed to the framework of the bell, are as
"LEVI W. DICKERSON,
ASA M. BLACK,
SANFORD S. HENDERSON."
The State legislature which met at Corydon, Warren
countv, in its act approved by Jonathan Jennings, not only
honored itself and Col. Francis \'igo, but placed the citizens
of the county under lasting obligations, by bestowing the
name of Francis Vigo upon our county. He was a man
whose character and patriotic deeds rendered him worthy
of such honor. Col. Francis Vigo was a Sardinian,
born in Mondovi in 1740. By way of eminence
he was called " The Spanish Merchant." He came
to New Orleans, which was then under the government of
Spain, in a Spanish regiment. He soon left the regiment
and became an Indian trader. Ascending the Mississippi
to St. Louis, he entered into the fur trade with the Indians,
and by honest dealings was successful, not only in accumu-
lating money, but a knowledge of Indian character, both of
which he patriotically devoted to the cause of America
against England. The story of Col. Vigo ought to be
familiar to every citizen and there is no lack of information
in the histories of our State. He died at Vincennes in 1836
having reached the advanced age of ninety-six years.
But to return to our theme which embraces the building
of a jail, as well as Court House. The former soon became a
necessity. Curious enough the records of the first term of
the Circuit court held in the village, July 24th, 1818, Thomas
H. Blake, presiding, show that the sheriff, Truman Black-
man " filed a formal protest against the county of Vigo
for failing to provide a good and substantial jail." As an
illustration that this protest was needed, it is related of a case,
brought before Fisher R. Burnett, as justice of the peace,
in which certain parties were sued for trespass. Goodwin
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 7 1
Holloway, the constable, arrested the defendant and brought
him before the justice. There being no jail, he was com-
pelled to leave the prisoner in the charge of " the court."
But as " the court " was unwilling to lay aside its dignity and
play the part of sheriff, the defendant simply bowed him-
self out of the court room into the street.
The first jail we are told was built on the south side of
Swan, between First and Second streets. The old records
show that on Nov. loth, 1818, Henry Redford was allowed
$60 part payment for building a jail in Terre Haute. An-
other is somewhat more specific and says: " The jail stood
on the south alley corner, on Swan street, between First
and Second," and adds : " It was built of smoothly hewed
logs, the floor being of the same. Light was admitted by a
small grated window." Capt. William Earle, in his remi-
niscences says : " I remember of one person being confined
in it ; that was black Dan, for stabbing Bill, another negro ;
he made his escape, digging away one of the floor logs, which
From the records of May, 1826, we learn that a second
jail was ordered to be built. William Durham, John F.
Cruft, and Thomas Parsons were appointed the committee,
and given the following instructions : " The rooms to be
eighteen feet square in the clear, two stories high, the
ground room to be ten feet, the upper room nine feet high in
the clear ; to be built of good white oak timber ; the founda-
tion to be good stone ; and also to build a frame the same size
as the jail, for the purpose of accommodating the jailor, to
be attached to the jail with a passage between six feet wide
and under the same roof." This building was located on the
corner of Walnut and Third streets. This building stood
till 1854-5, when it was replaced by a brick and stone struc-
ture. This latter building still stands as a land-mark on the
northwest corner of Walnut and Third streets. The present
jail was completed in 1882.
THE HIS'iORY OF
TAVERNS AND TAVERN KEEPERS
In 1817 we find Henry Redford engaged in erecting a log
house on the southeast corner of First and Main streets,
which afterwards became the far-famed Eagle and Lion. It
is described as having a front porch extending the whole
length of the building. It was built of hewed logs. After-
wards a frame addition was added, and the whole weather-
boarded. The exact date of the completion of this house is
fixed by the fact that the first celebration of the Fourth of
July in the village, took place in this building in 18 17. It
is recorded, that in June, the house was near completion.
" The roof was on, and the floors laid, and Mr. Redford was
pushing the work to be in readiness for the approaching
Fourth of July, and the large company that was expected."
Prominent among the number that assembled were Major
Chunn and his officers. Lieutenants Sturgis and Floyd. Drs.
Clark and McCullough, and several other gentlemen, together
with the ladies made up the happy crowd from Fort Harri-
son. Guests also came from the country around, and as far
south as " Shakers' prairie," in probably what was then
Knox county. The band from the Fort furnished the music.
There was an oration and the reading of the Declaration
of Independence. There was also a great dinner served,
finished up with patriotic toasts. The festivities of this first
celebration of the Fourth of July in Terre Haute was rounded
up with a grand ball at night.
This was a grand send ofif for the Eagle and Lion, and es-
tablished its reputation for years afterwards. It was the
traveler's rest, the villager's boarding house, and a common
place of resort for the sake of hearing or telling some new
thing. The great barroom, with its generous fire place, and
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 73
broad hearthstone was the central place of meeting for the
townspeople, especially during terms of the courts, when
lawyers from far and near gathered around the great fire-
place. Everything was big, the dining room especially. It
had its one purpose, with its tables and chairs, but could be
easily cleared to accommodate gatherings either for dancing
The tavern was known as the Eagle and Lion, from the
painting on the sign board, which was fastened between two
large posts. The painting represented an eagle picking out
the eyes of a lion. The happy ending of the recent war with
England was fresh in the mind of the painter, as he pictured
the triumph of the Americans over the British. The house,
however, with its generous appointments, was but a part of
what constituted a great tavern in those early days. There
was the big stable, the interior of which was lined on either
side with hospitable stalls ; its loft filled with hay, and its bins
with oats and corn. The horse must be cared for as well as
the man, for the energy that moved the country was stored in
the muscles of the horse. Not only so but this "horse power"
was the standard for computation of all other powers. Then
the stable had its ample yard, filled with wagons and coaches.
It was a busy place at the times of the outgoing and incom-
ing of the stages.
The Eagle and Lion was the stopping place of at least
one famous man. In 1831 Terre Haute was honored by the
presence of Henry Clay. The chroniclers of the times tell
us that it was an event of great local interest. The great
Senator, " was met several miles from the village by a large
number of citizens, and escorted into town. His approach
was announced by the roar of artillery. He stopped at the
Eagle and Lion." An address and a reply were among the
proceedings of the occasion. In regard to the keepers of this
tavern, facts are very limited. I find no statement to that
effect, but probably Mr. Redford at first kept the house him-
self. This seems to be implied in the following extract from
a letter written by Lucius H. Scott, years afterwards, who
74 THE HISTORY OF
in speaking of events occurring in 1817, says: "Henry
Redford had just erected his house, and it was the first tav-
ern ever opened in Terre Haute. The house was afterwards
kept by Robert Harrison and still later by Capt. Wasson."
Capt. James Wasson was one of the familiar names of early
Terre Haute. He was a native of Connecticut and came
here in 18 16. He must have had charge of the tavern for a
long time as it was familiarly known as the Wasson House.
He was a sailor before coming west. He was somewhat
brusk in manner, but kind. Some years ago in tracing out
the exact date of the first organization of a Presbyterian
church in Terre Haute, by Rev. David Monfort, I found the
following record in an old trustee book. After setting forth
the date of the organization, and election of elders with their
names, it stated that " Messrs. William C. Linton, John
Britton, and Capt. James Wasson were elected trustees."
This was in 1828. Mr. Wasson lived to the age of sixty-
five years " and was universally respected."
Samuel McOuilkin w^as another prominent tavern keeper
in the early days of the village. It is claimed by some that
he built the first tavern on the northeast corner of Third and
]\Iain streets. It was a large two story frame with its big
sign post. On the sign was painted a war horse fully ca-
parisoned, and rearing as if impatient to get into the battle.
Mr. William Earle, in his much quoted letter says : " We
boys always called the McQuilkin house ' The Light Horse
tavern.' " There are no dates given, but it is understood
that Mr. McQuilkin sold the building and invested in lands
across the river where Macksvillle now stands, which is the
town laid out by Mr. Samuel IMcOuilkin and named Mc-
Quilkinsville, but for short has ever been known as ]\Iacks-
ville. As to the question of which was the first tavern
erected, Mr. Lucius H. Scott speaks from personal knowl-
edge when he says as quoted above : " It," that is the Red-
ford House, " was the first tavern ever opened in Terre
Haute." At the same time it is recorded that the McOuilkin
House was a rival to the Easfle and Lion.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 75
To throw some light on the expense of traveling at this
early date, it may be noted here, that in licensing taverns,
the County commissioners fixed the rates for a single meal
at twenty-five cents ; and a night's lodging at twelve and a
half cents. For a horse, stable and hay for one night was
twenty-five cents ; oats and corn were extra.
In 1819 it is recorded that George Kilpatrick was licensed
to keep a tavern ; also tavern keeper's license was granted the
same year to James Cunningham. Indicating the growth
of the village and of ideas as well, the name tavern, sooner
or later, was superseded by that of Hotel, or House. Hence
there was the well known Dole House, kept by William Dole,
the proprietor ; Stewart House with Matthew Stewart as
proprietor. Besides these were the National Hotel, kept by
William McFadden, the old Early Hotel and the Wabash
Hotel. All these had their necessary creaking sign boards,
hospitable stables, and roomy wagon yards. Last but not
least, each had a little belfry on the top of the house, with its
high-toned bell, which called the willing boarders, three times
a day, to their meals. The ringing of the tavern bell must
have been an important function at least at the Burton Hotel,
kept by Johnny Burton, an Englishman, on the Northeast
corner of Cherry and Fifth streets. Burton must have been
the most popular landlord of his time, since his name has been
perpetuated in song by the darky minstrels of the day. I
quote a single stanza as it has lingered in my memory from
that day to this :
" I comes to Terre Haute
And puts up at Burton's hotel,
I blacks de Gemmen's boots
And rings de dinnah bell."
In 1838 Mr. Chauncey Rose completed the Prairie House.
His plans were kept back till he began the work of building,
when the villagers shook their heads in dotibt ; some said :
'■' It is too far from the center of town." Others prophesied :
" That boarders would not walk so far for their meals."
76 THE HISTORY OF
Slill Others : " It is rightly named as it stands way out on
the prairie." At first it did stand vacant, seemingly confirm-
ing the " I told you so " of the wise ones. But a change
came. The sound of internal improvements was heard
through the land, and our village was the natural center so
far as river, canal, and the proposed National road were con-
cerned. There is a chapter here in the history of internal
improvements that is full of interest ; but whatever the mis-
takes and failures, a new order of things sprung up, and
our State was better for the experience, and especially our
town. The building of the National road brought hither
Eastern men of capital and brains. And so did the canal en-
terprise ; and though these enterprises in a manner failed, yet
they gave a start to Terre Haute and also to the Prairie
House, as it was the stopping place of the leading spirits in
these public enterprises. The house was first opened bv ]\Ir.
Barnum, and soon gained the reputation of being one of the
best hotels in the State, a reputation which it has maintained
from that day to this.
In closing this chapter, the old residents of 1840-50 will not
object to have their memories refreshed by a reference to an
episode in the life of the Prairie House, when the late ]\Ir. T.
C. Buntin had charge. It will be remembered that an En-
glish family traveling in their own conveyance, from Indian-
apolis to St. Louis, stopped at the Prairie House for a single
night, but by the sudden illness of the father, the family were
detained some weeks. They had large means and were pros-
■ pecting for a location to make an English home. Inci-
dental to this main purpose, the father with the help of his
daughter proposed to publish a book to contain an account
of America and her people as seen through English specta-
cles. Whether the guests of the Prairie House were aware
of it or not, they had :
" A chiel amang them
Taking notes, and faith
He would prent 'em."
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 77
And SO it was when the family returned to England, they
published their book. And singularly enough, though
in their travels they had visited some of our prominent
cities, and most remarkable localities ; yet our village and
locality so attracted their attention that they named their
book The Wabash.
The Prairie House with its worthy host, ^Ir. T. C, Buntin,
and its numerous guests together with quite a number of our
leading citizens came in for a double share of honorable men-
tion. It may not be generally known, but I am told that there
are several copies of this book in the hands of our citizens.
One copy, at least, is cared for by Air. Arthur Cunningham,
the obliging Librarian of the State Normal School.
yS THE HISTORY OF
CHURCHES AND MINISTERS
The First Baptist Church was organized in the old brick
school house on the corner of Fifth and Walnut streets, in
July, 1836, with nine members, as follows: Rev. Samuel
Sparks and wife, Joseph Cooper and wife, Henry Thomas
and wife, William Stark and wife, and Mrs. Massa Pound.
Father Sparks served the church for about eight years,
preaching one Sabbath in each month, sometimes in private
houses, and sometimes either in the Court House, or in the
old brick school house. Rev. George C. Chandler for a time
was engaged as an assistant pastor. In 1847 Rev. Joseph A.
Dickson was settled over the church giving his whole time
to the work. The Universalist church building was leased
as a place of worship, and the church began to take on new
life. Many influential members about this time moved into
The first church building erected by this people was begun
in 1847. The location was on the west side of Fourth street,
between Mulberry and Eagle. At the first, the house was
inclosed and only the basement finished. On Sept, loth,
1861, this building was destroyed by a wind storm. This
was an unlooked for calamity, but in due time a chapel was
built on the west end of the lot located on the northwest
corner of Cherry and Sixth streets. Some years afterwards
the commodious building now occupied by this congregation
was built. One can understand that there must have been
some staunch men and women to build up so successfully
from such small beginnings.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 79
As intimated this people look back to the pastorate of Rev.
Joseph A. Dickson as the beginning of their strength. Since
then the church has had some strong and devoted pastors.
Among these and deserving of mention are such names as
Reverends David Taylor, Joseph Brown, S. M. Stimson,
Charles R. Henderson, Wheeler, Lycurgus Kirtley,
John S. Holmes, and the present pastor. Rev. George H.
Simmons, D.D., who, after resisting the repeated invitations
of a sister church at Peoria, Illinois, at last yielded and the
Baptist pulpit is now temporarily vacant.
One of the earliest pioneer churches of Vigo county was
that of the Union Baptist, which was organized in Pierson
township in 1822 by Rev. — Pierson, after whom Pierson
township was named. He came into the county in 1820. A
log house was first put up, afterwards one of brick was built.
Old Joseph Liston, of pioneer memory, was not only a mem-
ber of this church, but clerk of the session from 1824 to 1855.
Good brethren of the Baptist church, as you have an honest
pride in the heroism of these noble pioneers, look up these old
records, and have them placed in a fire-proof safe. It is
recorded of Liston that as an Indian scout employed by Gen.
Harrison, he did more for the protection of the cabin-homes
of the early settlers than any other one man.
The first Catholic church erected in Vigo county was
located at St. Mary's on the west side of the river, about
three miles from Terre Haute, in 1837. It was a small frame
structure, and put up by Father Bateaux, who was the first
resident priest. This parish became the center of influence,
not only as the home of the Sisters of Charity, but the nucleus
of the St. Mary's Academic Institute, an account of which
will be found in the chapter below on Schools and School
The frame building was burned in 1842, when a brick
house took its place. Father Bateaux was the active pastor
8o THE II (STORY OF
of this church till 1842, when he moved to Boston, Mass.
He was succeeded by Rev. A. Parrett, who remained till
1844. The missionary work of Father Bateaux doubtless
began some years before 1837, as I learn from another source,
that he commenced his work "in a log cabin ten feet square
in which he officiated with a board placed on logs for an
St. Joseph's was the first Catholic church built in Terre
Haute, on the west side of Fifth, between Ohio and Walnut
streets, and is said to have been erected through the efforts
of Father Bateaux of St. Mary's parish, in 1837. Previous
to this date he had done missionary work in this region.
Evidently Terre Haute was a missionary station till 1842,
when Rev. G. P. Lalumiere took charge. He says : " I
found in Terre Haute a real edifice, well furnished." And
again he records the fact, " that the few families, who as-
sembled, lived long distances apart ; but little to encourage
and much to discourage." His field covered a wade territory,
extending from Vincennes to Lafayette, and from Clay
county on the east to the town of ]\Iattoon, in Illinois, on the
west. Father Lalumiere became the first resident priest of
the St. Joseph's parish. He was a pioneer missionary, and
was born in Vincennes, Indiana, in 1804. He lived here and
ministered to the parish till he removed to Vincennes. He
died in 1857. He was held in the highest esteem by all
who knew him, and was greatly revered by his parishioners.
This denomination was late in laying its foundations, even
in the county, and yet we are assured that the first church
founded in Fayette township, was by the Christians, or
Disciples, as some prefer to be called. Unfortunately there
are no particulars recorded, not even dates. The Central
Christian church was organized in Terre Haute in June 28th,
1841, by Rev. John O'Kane. A permanent place of worship
was secured in 1846 on South Fourth street, opposite the City
EARLY TERRE HAUTE St
Hall. In 1852 a reorganization was effected with nineteen
members, and " such good men as WiUiam Begg, A. P. Law,
and Benjamin Cooper, were called in turn to take charge of
the little flock." Rev. L. H. Jamison was chosen pastor in
1854. He was succeeded in turn by Reverends J. P. New,
A. D. Fillmore, and W. F. Black. During the labors of these
three evangelists, " some men since prominent in the business
world, became members." In 1865 Rev. James H. McCul-
lough was called to the pastorate. About this time the con-
gregation resolved to build, and accordingly a new church
building was erected on Mulberry street between Sixth and
Seventh. When Rev. McCullough retired, the membership
amounted to about two hundred, and from this date the suc-
cess of the church was assured. While not financially
strong, the church has been able to command the services of
strong men, who have been successful, and made their pres-
ence felt not only in the church, but in the community as well.
Following Rev. IMcCullough the list comprises such well
known names as Reverends H. W. Cure, B. B. Tyler, G. P.
Peale, J. H. McCullough (recalled), Geo. W. Sweeney, H.
O. Breedon, Benjamin L. Smith. J. L. Brandt, A. J. Frank,
F. A. Morgan. W. \\\ Witmer, William ]\Iullendore, and
L. E. Sellers, the pastor now in charge.
The Pilgrim churches of Connecticut held a State conven-
tion as early as 1798, and declared their purpose to christian-
ize the new settlements of the United States. Accordingly
a tour of exploration was made by Samuel J. Mills and J.
T. Schermerhorn in 1812, through Indiana territory, under
the auspices of the churches of Connecticut and Alassachu-
setts. These were followed by other missionaries, among
whom was Rev. Nathan B. Derrow ; but no church of this
denomination was organized in Terre Haute till Dec. 30,
1834, when Rev. Merrick A. Jewett organized the First
Congregational church, with the following members:
82 THE HISTORY OP
Aniory Kinney, Joab Corwin, Thos. Desart, Robert Brasher,
Alexander Ross, Thos. L. Bishop, Mrs. Nancy Warren, Mrs.
Mary C. Gilbert, Mrs. Elizabeth Cruft, Mrs. Julia McCabe,
Mrs. Mary W'asson. This list was furnished me on request,
by Mr. L. l-". Perdue as found by him in an old record
In 1837 a lot was purchased on the southeast corner of
Cherry and Sixth streets, where a brick building was erected
which was dedicated on July 2, 1837. This house was dis-
mantled by a wind storm on the evening of Wednesday,
April 22^, 1853. In 1857 a new structure was built at a cost
of some $20,000. In 1871 this building was enlarged or
rather rebuilt at nearly double the cost of the first house.
The funds were raised in part at least by the sale of pews,
wdiich sold as high as from $160 to $440 each. On the
roll of buyers stood such names as " Hager, Hite, Dowling,
Thompson, McKeeUj Warren, Crawford, Tuller, Deming,
Farrington, Gookins, W. K. Edwards, Ryce, Bement, Potter,
Cook, Ross, and so on ad inHnitum."
Rev. Dr. Jewett w^as a remarkable man and in many re-
spects adapted to the people among whom he was called to
labor. In 1842 this church took upon itself new life in that
it experienced a genuine revival of religion. In this work
the pastor was aided by Rev. Henry W^ard Beecher, who was
at the time a pastor of a Presbyterian church at Indianapolis.
As the result of this revival an hundred members were
brought into the church.
In 1848 for the sake of organizing a Presbyterian church,
by request a joint letter of dismission was granted to John F.
Cruft, Elizabeth Cruft, Joseph Miller, Margaret Miller, E.
V. Ball, Sarah E. Ball, A. C. Potwin, Helen Potwin, F. R.
Whipple, Mary P. Whipple, Zenas Smith, Hannah Smith,
James Cook, J. B. L. Soule, Jordan Smith, and Mary E.
Cruft. who. as will be seen below, were organized into a
Presbyterian church by Rev. William M. Cheever.
Dr. Jewett continued pastor of the Congregational church
in the faithful discharge of his duties till i860, when
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 83
on account of failing health he resigned. He died in Texas
at the home of one of his sons, on April 3, 1874. As the
years pass by the early members of the church if possible
grow in their appreciation and loving remembrance of Dr.
Jewett. His remains were brought here for interment. In
the funeral discourse pronounced by the pastor, Frank E.
Howe, he expressed not only his own appreciation, but that
of others, when he said: "He (Dr. Jewett) stood promi-
nent as a preacher in all this region .... As we
met in the association, there was no man that w-as heard
with better attention, and with marks of greater favor.
And as one of his old friends said to me the other day : ' He
could preach six times a week, and we were always proud of
After a pastorate of some twenty-six years. Dr. Jewett was
succeeded by a long list of worthies, whose memories are
fragrant in the minds and hearts of the members and friends
of this church. The list begins with Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott
and closes with Rev. Dr. W. A. Waterman, the present
84 THE HISTORY OF
CHURCHES AND MINISTERS — CONTINUED
St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal church was organized
in Terre Haute in April or May 15, 1840. The members
so far as I can learn were : ]\Irs. David Danaldson, Mrs.
William Krumbhaar, Mrs. William J. Ball, and Mrs. Dr.
Blake. In the spring of 1840, the Right Rev. Bishop
Kemper, who was on his way to St. Louis, stopped here and
was induced to remain over the Sabbath, and hold public
services. This is thought to have been the first Protestant
Episcopal service celebrated in Terre Haute.
In the organization of the church, Col. Thomas H. Blake,
and William F. Krumbhaar were elected wardens, and Dr.
E. Daniels, Levi G. Warren, Jacob Bourne, and John Rout-
ledge were elected vestrymen. By the good offices of Bishop
Kemper, Rev. Charles Prindle was sent here, and by invita-
tion became rector of the parish. W^e are told that the first
regular services were held in the jury room of the old Court
House. Rev. Mr. Prindle remained but a short time, yet
he is pleasantly remembered by many who were not connected
with the church. He was succeeded in 1842 probably
(although dates given do not agree) by Rev. Robert B.
Croes. Mr. Croes is well remembered as a pains-taking
school master, as well as good preacher. He came in the fall
of 1842. The corner room in the brick building known as
the AlcCall block, which still stands on the southeast corner
of Third and Ohio streets, was used both as a church and
school house. During the rectorship of Mr. Croes the first
church building was erected June 9, 1845, o^"^ the west side
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 85
of Fifth between Main and Cherry streets. The new church
building on the southeast corner of Seventh and Eagle
streets, was erected at a cost, including the price of the lot,
of $17,000. The house was completed and occupied in 1863.
Since the times of Rectors Prindle and Croes, the church has
enjoyed the services of Reverends Drs. Charles P. Clark, and
D. D. \'an Antwerp, W. G. Spencer, Chauncey Fitch,
Thomas Mills Martin, Thomas R. x'Vustin, S. Burford, S. N.
Dunham, Drs. Delafield and Stanley, and the present incum-
bent, the Rev. John E. Sulger, who took charge of the parish
The Methodist circuit rider was early on the Indiana tiekl.
The hospitable cabins of the earliest pioneers were thrown
open to their preachers and in fact to the preachers of every
evangelical denomination. By appointments therefore, the
people gathered gladly for public w^orship, whether in the
piivate cabin, the school house or the shady grove. Rev.
Jonathan Stamper, chaplain of the Kentucky volunteers
preached in Fort Harrison in 1812. The list of early Metho-
dist appointments, in this region comprised the following:
Reverends James McCord in 1818; William Medford, 1819;
McCord, again, 1820; John Shrader, 1821 ; James Scott,
1822; David Chamberlain, 1823; H. Vanderburg, 1824;
Samuel Hull, 1825; Richard Hargrave, 1826; G. R. Beggs
and S. C. Cooper, 1827; J. Hadley and B. Stevenson, 1829;
W. H. Smith and B. Phelps, 1830. In 1831 Rev. Edward
Ray was sent to Terre Haute " as an experiment," whether
or not a station could be established, but " he was returned to
the circuit." In 1833 the town was made a station with Rev.
Smith Robinson as minister. It is recorded in this connec-
tion, that " Mr. John Jackson and three others pledged, and
paid $400 " towards his salary. Mr. Robinson died in 1836,
and was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Bartlett. He in turn was
succeeded by Reverends John Daniels in 1837 and E, Patrick
86 THE HISTORY OF
In 1833-4 a small brick chapel was erected on the corner
of Fourth and Poplar streets. This served the congregation
till 1841, when Asbury chapel was built on the same lot. A
noble work was carried on in this chapel for half a century,
when during the pastorate of Rev. Isaac Dale, a new location
on the northwest corner of Seventh and Poplar streets was
purchased, and a new building erected at the cost of $42,000.
This was completed during the period of Dr. Hickman's in-
cumbency, who, being called to the Vice Chancellorship of
Depauw University, was succeeded by Rev. Demetrius Til-
lotson, the present pastor.
The history of the Methodist churches in Terre Haute
would be incomplete without a notice of the organization of
Centenary church, and the erection of its building on the
northeast corner of Seventh and Eagle streets. It looks upon
Old Asbury as the mother church. The movement for a sepa-
rate organization began in 1865. Its first membership con-
sisted of some two hundred persons. We are told that too
much credit cannot be bestowed upon the late Rev. William
Graham, through whose efforts the separation was effected.
The first pastor of Centenary church was Rev. Leander C.
Buckles, by the appointment of conference in September,
1866. The church building was made ready for dedication
Dec. 3d, 1866. The successors to Rev. Buckles have been
numerous, including some noble men, who not only did good
work for the church, but were an honor to the town. Rev.
Worth M. Tippy is the present pastor.
Rev. Nathan B. Derrow, a pioneer missionary, visited
Terre Haute in 18 16. He was sent out by the Connecticut
Missionary society. Still another missionary. Rev. Orin
Fowler, made a tour as far North as Fort Harrison in 18 19.
Rev. Charles C. Beatty made a missionary tour through this
region under the auspices of the General Assembly in 1822.
Dr. Beatty once gave the writer an account of this tour, es-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 87
pecially of his visit to Terre Haute. He preached in the
ball room at the Eagle and Lion. He was entertained by
Major Whitlock, who was the receiver of the United States
Land office and who afterwards removed to Crawfords-
Another missionary under date of 1820, describes a tour
across the Wabash river by way of the Hopewell church.
Our respected pioneer citizen, the late Harry Ross was ac-
customed to tell of these Hopewell people holding big meet-
ings in the Court House. On such occasions each villager
in attendance brought a tallow candle as a contribution
towards lighting the house.
The first permanent minister to settle here was Rev. David
Monfort. He came in the fall of 1827, from the Presbytery
of Cincinnati. The church was not organized till j\Iay 17,
1828, and was made up of the following members : Samuel
Voung and Margaret Young, his wife; Samuel Ewing, and
Mary Ewing, his wife ; John ]\IcCulloch. and Margaret, his
wife ; ]\Ir. James Beard and Jane, his wife ; Airs. Phoebe
Monfort. 'Sir. O. Dibble. jNIr. Samuel Young and Air. James
Beard were chosen and ordained as elders. Ten members in
all. Messrs. William C. Linton, John Britton, and Capt.
J.imes Wasson were elected trustees.
Air. Alonfort remained but a short time owing to sickness
in the family, and the death of his wife and daughter. After
his resignation, Rev. Michael Hummer came, and was chosen
pastor of the church, which then consisted of the following
members. Amory Kinney, Ephraim Ross, Zenas Smith,
Thomas Desart. Alexander Ross, William Young, Mrs,
Elizabeth Desart, Mrs. Charlotte T. Condit, Airs. Julia AIc-
Call, Airs. Hannah Smith, Aliss Alary King, Aliss Catherine
Boudinot, Airs. Alary Ross, and Airs. Alary Young, together
with the original elders, Alessrs. Samuel Young and Tames
Beard, making in all sixteen members. The record of this
meeting is dated Alay 16. 1833. J'-'st how long Air. Hummer
remained we are not told ; but there was a division in the
church and a large proportion of the members withdrew un-
88 THE HISTORY OF
der Mr. Hummer. They held services in the Old brick
school house on the northwest corner of Fifth and Wahiut
streets. In 1834 the Congregational church was organized
absorbing probably the most of Mr. Hummer's members.
In the meantime Rev. Matthew Wallace took charge of
the old church. He was instrumental in tlie erection of a
frame building on the northwest corner of Fifth and Poplar
streets. He was succeeded by Reverends C. Allen, J. N.
Shannon, Thomas P. Gordon. Under the pastorate of Dr.
Gordon a new brick structure was erected on the southeast
corner of Seventh and Mulberry streets. Mr. Gordon was
succeeded by Reverends Geo. Morrison, J. E. Lapsley, and
Alexander Sterrett. Mr. Sterrett continued his ministry till
the union of this congregation with that of the Baldwin
01 Second Presbyterian church, which occurred Dec. 3rd,
The Baldwin church was organized by Rev. William AI.
Cheever, Dec. 31, 1848, and was composed of a colony from
the Congregational church, of which there were sixteen mem-
bers in all, whose names are as follows: Joseph Miller, Tvlar-
garet Miller, his wife; E. V. Ball, M.D., Sarah E. Ball, his
wife; John F. Cruft, Elizabeth Cruft, his wife; A. C. Potwin,
Helen Potwin, his wife; F. R. Whipple, ]\Iary Whipple, his
wife ; Zenas Smith, Hannah Smith, his wife ; Mary E. Cruft,
James Cook, J. B. L. Soule and Jordon Smith. ]\Iessrs.
Joseph Miller and J. E. L. Soule were elected elders and
were ordained by Rev. W. M. Cheever. In the pastorate of
this church Mr. Cheever was succeeded by the following
ministers: Joseph G. Wilson, H. W. Ballantine, Daniel E.
Eierce, Henry S. Little, Blackford Condit, and Edward W.
On Dec. 3rd, 1879, these two churches, viz., the First
Presbyterian and the Baldwin, the name of the latter having
been changed to the Second Presbyterian, were united under
the name of the Central Presbyterian church of Terre Haute ;
Rev. Thomas Parry was chosen pastor. During his pastorate
the church building was remodeled. After his resignation,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 89
sixty-one members were given letters for the sake of organ-
izing the Washington Ave. Presbyterian church. This
church was organized in 1884, and at this writing has a sub-
stantial brick building on the southeast corner of Washing-
ton Avenue and Sixth street. Rev. William Torrance, D. D.,
is the present pastor of the Central, and Rev. Frank AI. Fox,
of the Washington Avenue church.
The first Universalist church of Terre Haute was organ-
ized Alay 8th, 1841, with twelve members. The first church
building was erected on the corner of Fourth and Ohio
streets ; Rev. John Kidwell ofliciated at the dedication. The
membership increased to the number of thirty-nine. This
building served the congregation for twenty-five years ; when
in 1866, preparations were made for the erection of a new
building. A handsome lot was secured on Eighth, between
Cherry and Mulberry streets. The house was of brick and
was completed in 1869, at a cost of some $10,000.00, the seat-
ing capacity accommodating 350 persons. The membership
at this time amounted to over one hundred. It is said that
this organization originated in a debate between Rev. B. F.
Foster and some other clergyman. The church enjoyed the
services of quite a number of pastors. There are no dates,
but the list below gives the names in the order of service :
" Rev. B. F. Foster, John Kidwell, George Knapp, James
G. Burt, Henry Jewell, S. G. Gibson, F. C. Brooks, — Man-
ford, — Allen."
The church building was bought a few years since and
fitted up for a Library building. While the house and its
location w^ere adapted to church purposes, there was much
opposition to purchasing it for a City library. But possibly
the city was wise in thus finding a resting place for its library,
till the times should become ripe, or the way be opened, for
a suitable location upon which should be erected a building
worthy of our City. And just now our daily papers an-
THE HISTORY OF
nounce a proposition from Mr. Demas Deming to donate
delig-htful and ample grounds on Ohio street between Sixth
and Sevcntli streets, also the sum of fifty thousand dollars
in cash for the erection of a building to be known as the
Deming Library Building. There are certain conditions at-
tached to this proposal to which the city will doubtless accede.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 9I
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL TEACHERS
From the first, the school teacher was in demand. In 1817
a young man arrived at Fort Harrison from Vincennes, on
foot. There were among others at the fort a Mr. Dickson
and his family. Induced by the Dicksons. and " for the want
of something to do," he opened a school in Honey Creek
township, the settlers building a small cabin for the purpose.
This young man was Lucius H. Scott, who afterwards be-
came so favorably known as a successful business man in our
town. This enterprise failed on account of the illness of Mr.
Scott ; but it goes to show the anxiety of our early settlers to
plant schools for their children. The order was, first the
home cabin, and then the log school house, both of which
were used for church purposes, till a church building could
be put up. It is a mooted question as to who was the first
teacher in our village. An advertisement in the first news-
paper published in Terre Haute is reliable so far as it goes
to show that R. W. Gail taught school here in 1824. It an-
nounces that he would receive " most kinds of produce in
payment for tuition." Doubtless there were school teachers
before Mr. Gail of whom we have no record. We have the
testimony of Rev. Welton ]\I. ]\Iodesitt that Joseph Thayer
was the first teacher to open a school in Terre Haute. This
we find confirmed in the reminiscences of Mr. William Earle,
who is claimed to be the first male child born in the village of
Terre Haute. These reminiscences are readable, not only for
the cold facts, but for the warm style in v.hich they are writ-
ten. He was a land boy, but became by choice a man of the
sea, as his language bears witness. In regard to ^Ir. Thayer,
he says : " Joseph Thayer was my first school master. He
92 tiil; history of
was a man of very steady habits during vacations, that is
steady at tlie whiskey bottle ; but in term time he was never
known to drink. We boys had to mind how we carried sail,
or we would get our head sheets flattened on the wrong tack.
Yet he was kind." Again he writes : " We once had a school
master by the name of Rathbone. I remember nothing of
him, except that the big boys locked him in one Christmas,
and burnt brimstone beneath the floor. This was great
sport." He tells of another teacher, a Mr. Brown, " who took
the starch out of our sails." These all relate to what hap-
pened previously to 1823 ; but no exact dates are given. So
we are somewhat at sea as to really who was the first teacher.
Very possibly there were teachers prior to Joseph Thayer,
notwithstanding he was Mr. Earle's first teacher.
In 1827 the Old brick school house was built on the north-
west corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. The location now
is occupied by the Catholic Female Academy. If I am
rightly informed, a portion of the old wall of the brick
school house was built into, and constitutes a part of, the
wall of the Academy building. This our first public school
house was intended for church, for Sunday school, as well
as day school purposes. The prime movers in this enterprise
were: Judge Amory Kinney, John F. Cruft, Elijah Tillotson,
Moody Chamberlain, Thomas Houghton, Russell Ross,
Enoch Dole, and Matthew Stewart. It stands on record that
" the people liberally all contributed their mite to this im-
portant building." Some subscribed brick, others lumber,
and still others a certain number of days' work." It is added :
'■ little money was subscribed."
Mr. Charles T. Noble was among the early teachers in this
school. He was not only active himself, but instrumental in
interesting others in school work. He came to Terre Haute
in 1823 and in 1825 became a permanent resident, till his
death. He spent the early years of his manhood as a teacher,
but afterwards was active in town affairs. He never lost his
interest in children, as many who were once small boys can
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 93
Mr. Nathaniel Preston was another teacher in the Old
brick school house. He taught there till he entered the State
Bank as a clerk. He was afterwards elected as cashier. Mr.
Preston was a native of Vermont, and was married in Terre
Haute to Miss Charlotte Wood. Their home first was in the
Bank building, now the Old Curiosity Shop. Afterwards
he purchased the stone residence with its extensive grounds
on Poplar street, where he lived until his death. For many
years Mrs. Preston has been a member of the Rose Ladies
Aid Society and still discharges the exacting duties of a cor-
Still another teacher in this school was Hon. W. D. Gris-
wold. whose name will appear among the lawyers. He was
a native of Vermont, and a personal friend and schoolmate
of Mr. Preston. They were both educated, and were typical
Terre Haute gentlemen.
Among the boys who attended school in this building, and
made their mark in the world, were such men as : Gen.
Charles Cruft, mention of whom will be made in the chapter
below on Courts and Lawyers. ]\Ir. Cruft began the study
of the classics here under ]\Ir. W. D. Griswold. Francis S.
McCabe, D.D., was a Terre Haute boy. He was a pupil of
Charles T. Noble in the Old brick school house. He also
reckons W. D. Griswold as one of his early teachers. Mr.
McCabe was graduated from \\'abash College in 1846, and
was honored with the title of D.D. by the same institution.
He was graduated from the Theological Seminary, at Au-
burn, N. Y., in 1852. He served the Presbyterian church of
Peru, Indiana, from 1852 to 1867; the First Presbyterian
church of Topeka, Kansas, from 1868 to 1880, and the Third
Presbyterian church of the same city from 1880 to 1887. Dr.
McCabe was born in Terre Haute in 1827. Throughout his
long life he has been recognized as a man of more than
ordinary ability, and of sterling worth. In Mr. McCabe our
little brick school house made a valuable contribution to
the churches of Kansas City and of the whole state, as he has
been since 1870 Stated Clerk of the Synod of Kansas.
94 THE IIISTORV OF
Rev. Wei ton M. Modesitt is another village boy, who at-
tended school in the Old brick school house. He came with
his parents to Terre Haute in 1816. He was the son of Dr.
Charles B. Modesitt, one of the earliest pioneers of the town.
Welton was educated for a lawyer and graduated from the
State University at Bloomington, and entered at once upon
the study of law at Cincinnati, Ohio. He practised law in
Terre Haute for three years, when like many before him he
switched off into the ministry. His theological course was
pursued at Lane Theological Seminary, in Cincinnati, from
which he was graduated in 1846. Four years were spent
with the Congregational churches of South and West Vigo,
when Mr. Modesitt removed to the State of New York. He
served two years in the Union army as chaplain of a New
York regiment, made up of men from Buffalo' and vicinity.
From loss of eyesight, he was compelled to retire from the
active ministry. Notwithstanding advanced age and com-
plete loss of eyesight, he enjoys his annual visits to his Terre
Haute relatives and friends.
Mr. C. W. Barbour, one of Indiana's prominent lawyers,
was in his early boyhood a pupil at the Old brick school
house. Further notice of him will be found in the chapter
on Courts and Lawyers.
Mr. Benjamin Hayes deserves to be numbered among our
earliest teachers. He taught on the corner of Third and Oak
streets. He came with his wife from New England, but the
exact date is not known. School teaching was not, as with
so many others, a stepping-stone to something supposed to be
better; but it was his life work. It would be interesting to
know how many of the old residents to-day can say : " I
went to school to Benny Hayes." Doubtless there are many,
some of whom would add : " when he taught in the County
Seminary," others, " when he taught in the white frame
school house on the northwest corner of Sixth and Cherry
streets." while still others, " when he taught in the basement
of the Congregational church." Mr. Hayes's dictum was: " A
boy must go through the arithmetic three times, and do every
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 95
sum, before he can be said to know how to cipher." He was
not a man of fine finish, but of strength. He possessed a
sturdy character, and was a man of great moral worth. When
age began to overtake him, he took up his residence with his
son at Normal, Illinois, where he remained till his death. As
it was most befitting, his remains were brought back to Terre
Haute for burial. He rests in Woodlawn Cemetery.
About the year 1835 or '36, Miss Phoebe Miller, a sister
of Mr. Joseph Aliller, a pork merchant, taught a school for
small children on West Chestnut street, opposite the residence
of her brother. The school house was small and built of logs,
with a puncheon floor. The children sat on long wooden
benches, without backs, with their feet dangling towards
the floor, except when they stood up in line before the teacher,
and spelled to their own delight : b-a, ba ; b-e^ be ; b-i, bi ; or,
b-a, ba, k e r, ker, baker. *
Later a Mr. Moses Beach, a Jersey man, kept a school in
the south part of the village, below Mr. Murrain's tan yard.
This teacher's pride was to make good readers and spellers ;
and the ambition of the scholar was to " go up head," by
spelling down his less successful competitors. To reach the
head of the class was no small triumph, especially if the class
was made up of some " good spellers." But to hold the place
on Friday night, and take your place at foot of the class
on Monday morning, was a triumph worth all it cost.
In the early forties, there was a more pretentious school
taught by an Episcopal clergyman in the McCall building,
which still stands on the southeast corner of Third and Ohio
streets. His name was Rev. Robert B. Croes, who was
highly respected not only as a minister but as a competent
Perhaps the best classical teacher of those days was Mr.
Provost. He taught in the basement of the Congregational
church. He was a teacher by profession, scholarly and suc-
cessful. He won the regard of his pupils ; and doubtless
there are many yet living who would gladly hear concern-
ing his welfare after he left Terre Haute. He was a gen-
g6 THE HISTORY OF
tleman of the old school, somewhat precise in speech and
manner. He was careful of his dress, which was plain and
in the best of taste. He had one peculiarity, at least, which
is a very small thing to recall and especially to record ; but
it made a deep impression. He wore his hair parted behind.
This was evidently a fad of the day. I now recall but one
or two other gentlemen in the town who affected this style.
Possibly there were more, but why magnify so small a matter.
His school was well patronized.
One cannot think of the Provosi school without recalling
many of the boys and girls who were in attendance. I have
one specially in mind. He was a small boy, among small
boys, and we called him Bill. As we grew older, we softened
it down to Will, and then, as evidence of great respect, to
William E. To aid in sketching his character by a single
stroke of the pencil, I would quote a verse from one of
Wordsworth's beautiful sonnets, which reads :
" The child is father of the man."
The truth here expressed is proverbial, and finds a good illus-
tiation in the example before us. To know the man is to
have known the boy, as there exists the greatest similarity.
In externals as to build and general address, they were the
same. The same also in style of dress, plain and becoming.
Then as to character, there were the same elements of up-
rightness and manliness. He was as willing then as now
to do you a favor. Many of his friends to-day might insert
between these lines marked examples of this characteristic.
Then, the standing of the boy in school was typical of the
standing of the man, in our community. To know therefore
the man, in the person of Hon. William E. McLean, is to
have a very correct idea of Mr. Provost's pupil, whom we
as small boys called, Bill.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 97
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL TEACHERS — CONTINUED
In hastily passing I must not forget to mention a school
taught by Seymour Gookins in the basement of the Congre-
gational church. Mr. Gookins stood high in the community,
not only as a teacher, but as a man. Like all good teachers
he had the interests of his scholars at heart.
Besides the list would not be complete without the mention
of a classical school taught by Prof. Moses Soule. About
this time the days of subscription schools were being num-
bered. The growth of population demanded an increase of
facilities for all classes of children. Far-sighted citizens real-
ized that unless public provision was made, their children
v;ould grow up in ignorance. So as early as 1835 a meeting
was called at the Court House, for the purpose of consider-
ing the propriety of erecting a County Seminary building.
This was by no means a rash move for already " public
funds provided for in the different sales of real estate, had
become sufficient to justify the step." In due time, there-
fore, a contract was entered into with William Naylor and
William Wines to build the Vigo County Seminary. Ac-
cordingly it was erected on the high ground now occupied by
the State Normal School. This was a step in advance, but
there were better things in store. Without attempting to
trace the story of the purchase of the County Seminary by
the city; and how by striking hands with the State,
there was secured to the city the State Normal School ; I
would simply add that the demand for free schools was
everywhere. It was voiced in the legislature by statesmen,
as well as by public educators ; also by the public press.
One of the causes that did much towards waking up the
people on the subject of free schools, was a Series of Papers
98 THE HISTORY OF
addressed to the legislature, signed by " One of the People."
The part that Terre Haute had in this, was that while the
papers were penned in the neighboring town of Crawfords-
ville, by Caleb Mills, D.D., a professor in Wabash College;
vet through the instrumentality of Mr. Israel Williams, who
was a special friend of Prof. Mills, and was then a prominent
pork merchant of our city, the articles were published in
pamphlet form in the office of David S. Danaldson.
Besides, the matter of free schools was no new thing to
Terre Haute educators. In 1827 an advertisement appeared
in our village paper, signed by Charles T. Noble and Samuel
Hedges, which reads in part as follows : " The subscribers
believing that schools in which youths are taught those
branches that enable them to transact the customary business
of life, are preferable to those Sunday schools, at which
recitations in spiritual hymns and songs are the principal
exercises, do hereby give notice, that they will attend at C. T.
Noble's school room, on Sunday of each week, and give in-
struction gratis in the branches usually taught in common
schools, and in algebra * * * ^ Strict attention will be
paid to scholars that may be put under our care * * * ."
Certainly as an advertisement the above is unique, and
withal significant. Sunday schools were evidently a well
known institution in early Terre Haute. But passing the
question here raised, my object in citing the above is to show
that there was already, in the minds of active educators, a
necessity that some steps should be taken by which free in-
struction might be given to children, whose parents were not
able to pay the required quarterly tuition. While the step
proposed was inadequate, yet the suggestion must have been
far-reaching, showing that something ought to be done,
which could not be effected by an individual, but by a com-
bined effort of all the people, by subjecting themselves to
taxation. This in the course of time was done, thus making
Indiana one of the leading states in the way of free schools.
But here as before, the tracing of the particulars is chrono-
logically beyond my limit ; yet I must add, that while the
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 99
movement in our locality was hampered at the first, in its
final success it has filled our city, to the great joy and benefit
of all, with school houses, school teachers and school children.
Again there lias always been a prevailing idea, that Terra
Haute would become an educational center; hence various
efforts have been put forth to establish institutions of a
high grade, to accommodate those from a distance as
well as those at home. About the year 1835 an effort
was made to found a Seminary for girls on South
Sixth street. It was an individual enterprise. I am assured
by Mr. John W. Cruft that the two-story double frame house,
which stood for so man}- years on the northeast corner of
Sixth and Oak streets, and occupied by his father as a resi-
dence, was originally built for a girls' school. The testi-
mony of Rev. Aaron Wood in regard to this seminary is,
that Rev. Smith L. Robinson was appointed to preach in the
Terre Haute district. He also projected a female seminary,
and had ample subscription, and a house erected. A lady
principal was sent for, and came by stage from the far off
State of Maine, but she died in a few days after her arrival.
Rev. Mr. Robinson was called away into another conference,
and so while this effort was a failure, it shows, at least a de-
sire for a school in Terre Haute for young ladies.
The Covert College for Young Ladies, built on South
Sixth street was for a decade of years, a success, and proved
a most desirable addition to our city, as it brought to us
teachers of talent, and accomplishments. The standard of
the school was high and it attracted students from a distance.
Rev. John Covert, the founder and president of the school,
had the reputation of being a superior financier, and yet the
school in time went down. The building still stands and is
occupied by St. Anthony's Hospital. Very much of the
above might be said in regard to the effort to build up Coates
College which was located in the residence formerly occupied
by Judge S. B. Gookins, on Osborn, between Third and
Sixth streets. But the effort is of so recent a date, I can only
refer to it.
lOO THE HISTORY OF
It is known possibly, to only a comparative few, that
]\iv. Channcey Rose seriously contemplated founding and
endowing a College for young ladies in Terre Haute. He
gave the matter much thought as to its internal workings ;
also as to the plans and specifications of the buildings. He
went so far as to make ample provisions for the same, in his
will. But afterwards, he changed his mind, as every think-
ing man has a right to do, and instead, substituted for it, the
Rose Polytechnic Institute, a school of technology for young
men. The great success of this institution, argues that
Mr. Rose made no mistake in changing his purpose, and yet
there is a lingering thought as to what might have been, had
a Western Wellesley College been planted in the Mississippi
valley, on Fort Harrison prairie, in the town of Terre Haute.
In its inception, though the Polytechnic Institute had a rival,
it has none now, as it stands in the fore front with the leading
technical schools of the country, and so far upholds the
idea, that Terre Haute is and of right ought to be, an edu-
The same may be said of our State Normal School which
from its foundation has always been prosperous but never
more so than at the present, under the successful manage-
ment of a Terre Haute boy, a son of a pioneer phys-
ician. The father gave his son the advantages of the
public schools of the day, and then proposed to make a
farmer of him, but the young man possessed of a natural
thirst for knowledge soon returned and was enrolled as a
member of the first graduating class of the State Normal.
This was a good beginning for William W. Parsons. He
was afterwards connected with the school as professor, vice
president and president. To this last position which he
still occupies, he was elected in 1885, to succeed President
George P. Brown. Terre Haute has reason to be proud and
is proud of the State Normal School.
There is one other school that has done its full share in
building up the reputation of Terre Haute as an educational
center. The story of its founding and marvelous growth,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE lOI
reads more like a fairy tale, than actual history. That an
accomplished daughter of one of Napoleon's generals should
leave her native land accompanied by five others like minded
with herself, to found an institution of learning in the woods
of Indiana, seems more romantic than historic. And so in-
stead of a literal wilderness, where these good women actually
engaged, as veritable pioneers, in gathering the brush into
heaps for burning, we find now extensive grounds elegantly
laid out, also green houses and flower gardens that bespeak
taste and refinement. So likewise instead of the single house
which good farmer Thralls was willing to share as a shelter
for these pioneers, and the little log chapel, and simp'y the
foundations for the academy building; we find buildings
along side of buildings, in the best style of architecture, with
every possible convenience for carrying on the work of edu-
The plain history of St. Mary's Institute which was
planted in the woods of Indiana, four miles west of Terre
Haute, reads: "that on Oct. 22, 1S40, six sisters of Provi-
dence, who came from France through the earnest solicita-
tion of the Bishop of Vincennes, also by the cooperation of
Father Bateaux, arrived by stage at St. IMary's, which was to
be their future home. jNIother Theodore, the founder of the
institution, is said to have been a woman remarkabh' en-
dowed with gifts both of intellect and heart. She laid broad
foundations for Christian education, and refined womanhood,
and St. Mary's Institute shall ever stand as a noble monu-
ment to her wisdom, sacrifice and zeal.
I02 THE HISTORY OF
EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS
One of the first necessities of organized society is a court
of justice. So we find that one of the first moves, while as
yet we were a territory, was the organization of courts of law.
As a local member of society, the individual for protection,
yields his rights into the hands of society, as represented by
legal tribunals. Such surrender implies presupposed in-
telligence, and uprightness, on the part of the community.
Security of individual rights and local order go hand in
The General Assembly convened at Corydon in August,
1814, divided the territory into three circuits, and " invested
the Governor with power to appoint a President judge in
each circuit, and two Associate judges of the circuit court
in each county." Among other requirements these President
judges were to be " learned and experienced in the law."
There was more or less dissatisfaction in the workings of the
judiciary system as it existed in the territory. In 1816
there were important changes made, so that the judiciary
powers of the State were vested in " one Superior Court, in
Circuit Courts, and such inferior courts as the General As-
sembly might establish .... The Circuit Court was
to consist of a President and two Associate Judges ; the Pres-
idents of the Circuit Courts were to be elected by the General
Assembly, in joint session, and the Assistant Judges by the
voters of the counties. Each county was to have two As-
sociate Judges ; the President alone or in connection with one
of the Associate Judges could hold a court and the two As-
sociates in absence of the President could hold a court, but
could not try capital or chancery cases."
EARLY TERRE HAUTE lOJ
The existence of Associate judges explains one thing
in the early history of our town, which to many who were
uninitiated, was inexplicable ; and that was the fact of there
being so many gentlemen who were always addressed and
known as judges ; and yet they never laid any claim to being
lawyers by profession. Among these were such men as
Judge Deming, of whom mention has already been made;
Judge Jesse Conard, whose name will properly appear in
the chapter on Newspapers and Editors ; Judge James T.
Aloffatt who was born in New York city, Oct. 2, 1791. He
resided for some years in New Jersey, whence he moved to
Vincennes, Indiana, in 1818, after stopping a short time in
Ohio. In 1829 he came with his family to Terre Haute.
He purchased property on North Second street, and built a
brick house, which was the home of the family for many
years, till he moved into his new house, on the north side of
Mulberry, between Sixth and Seventh streets. Judge Mof-
fatt was a carriage maker by trade, but having a taste for
politics, he served for many years as Probate or Associate
judge. From 1837 to 1843 ^"'^ served his district in the
State senate. He was a delegate to the Whig convention
in Baltimore when Henry Clay was nominated for the presi-
dency. In 1849 ^^6 ^^'^s appointed Postmaster of Terre
Haute, which position he held for four years. Judge Moffatt
was a member of the Ci<"y council for several terms. He was
an active Mason. Mr. Moffatt was faithful in all the public
trusts committed to him. He died in 1861.
Judge Randolph H. Wedding was another one of the hon-
orable Associate judges. He came into Indiana in 18 17. For
the most part he resided in Parke county. " His life was re-
markable for the sterling traits of character he exhibited, and
for the stirring scenes in which he was a prominent actor."
Another prominent pioneer and Associate judge was John
Jenckes, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, 1790.
As a prospector he was on the ground as early as 1816, but
did not settle permanently until 18 18. He purchased prop-
erty east of the town. He served as Associate judge in the
I04 THE HISTORY OF
first court held in the county. He was elected as State senator
while yet the State capital was at Corydon.
Judge John H. Watson was a banker, and his name will
appear in the chapter on Banks and Bankers, and yet we
understand as an Associate judge, he could sit on the bench,
and rightly be called judge.
There were others who as prominent citizens were honored
by seats on this bench, but the above are sufficient to illustrate
the one thing in question ; also how in those early days men
of stalwart characters were appreciated.
The first Circuit court in Vigo county was held on the
fourth Monday in April in 1818, before Moses Hogg.itt and
James Barnes as Associate judges. They adjourned to meet
at the house of Henry Redford on the following day, and
here among other business, an application for divorce came
before the court, brought by Eleanor Garber against Peter
Garber alleging abandonment. Evidently the court did not
propose to be hasty, as it allowed the case to go over to the
next regular term of court when it was duly granted.
The first term of the Circuit court before a full bench was
held at the house of Henry Redford in Terre Haute, on July
24, 1818. Thomas H. Blake, President judge of the first
Judicial circuit, presiding.
Before proceeding further, one word should be spoken in
regard to the early laws of Indiana, for prior to courts and
lawyers there must be laws. In 1807 we read in Dillon:
" The common law of England, all statutes or acts of the
British parliament made in aid of the common law, prior to
the fourth year of the reign of King James the First (and
which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom),
and also the several laws in force in this territory, shall be the
rule of decision, and shall be considered as of full force, until
repealed by legislative authority, or disapproved of by Con-
gress." To illustrate the majesty of the law, and to show its
far-reaching influence, take the single enactment in the ordi-
nance of 1787, containing the provision by which the North-
west territory ceded to Congress by the Commonwealth of
EARLY TERRE HAUTE I05
Virginia, should ever be free from the curse of human
slavery. This saved Indiana as a territory, and when state-
hood was sought in 1816, this same prohibitory clause found
its way into the constitution, notwithstanding the indefati-
gable efforts of the proslavery element in the territory, to have
it rejected. In a revised and improved form therefore we
have the prohibition in Art. I, Sec. 37 of the Constitution
which reads : " There shall be neither slavery nor involun-
tary ser\itude within the State, otherwise than for the pun-
ishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted. No indenture of any negro or mulatto, made or
executeci out of the State, shall be valid within the State."
As early as 1807, Messrs. Jones and Johnson published a
Revised Code of Indiana Laws, which was adopted by the
legislature. In 181 5 there was issued by General W. Johns-
ton at Vincennes, " A Compend of the Acts of Indiana."
There must be a copy of this book in our city, but like Pid-
geon's History of the Fort, inquiry fails to hud it.
From a lengthy description of the volume, I take it that it
is something of a curiosity. In the preface, the author tells
us : " In the Compend I have been as laconic as practicable
and to render my work serviceable and acceptable, I have
spared no pains to analyze the Territorial Statutes, com-
mencing Vv^ith the revised code of 1807, and ending with the
acts of 1814. And to methodize the matter in the plainest
manner, has been my aim. The complicated state in which
the Statutes of our Territory are at present, from the variety
of its acts upon the same subject, suggested to me the ne-
cessity of analysis. To be of some service to my country
and not pecuniary reward has been my excitement."
Following the preface is a certificate signed by Isaac
Blackford, Davis Floyd, G. R. C. Sullivan, A. Buckner, H.
Hurst, W. Prince and John Johnson, to the effecj", that they
had examined the manuscript, and gave it as their opinion
that " the design was well conceived, and the subject matter
disposed of in considerable order."
The pioneer lawyer was a circuit rider in the literal sense
lo6 THE HISTORY OF
of the word. First he must provide himself with a horse
that could swim the swollen streams as well as trudge
through the muddy roads. Then he must possess the
needful saddle bags to carry not only wearing apparel, but
law books and papers. He must be provided also with an
overcoat or blanket and green leggings. Thus equipped he
starts on his journey for the County seat, where court con-
venes, though it be sixty miles away.
We have been accustomed to limit the trials of early circuit
riding to the missionaries, and especially to Alethodist
preachers, but the pioneer lawyer, as he is better understood,
comes in for his share of the honors. If there were trackless
wagon roads, and lonely pack horse trails, to be followed, he
followed them. Or if there were creeks to be crossed, he
crossed them. The map of the State at that time was made
up of crooked snakelike lines indicating great and small
water courses. The horseback traveler knew, or was sup-
posed to know the names and distances apart of these several
streams, and the best fording places.
These were the days of horses and " horse talk." Every
lawyer had his favorite horse, and he knew from experience
how to appreciate him. One owned " Wrangler," which
cost him sixty dollars ; another " Old Gray," for which he
paid eighty dollars; still another "Big Sorrel," a sixty dollar
horse. Hon. O. H. Smith in his delightful book entitled.
" Early Indiana Trials," closes a long list of horses and their
owners by saying: "And I rode Gray Fox that cost me
$90." That he had occasion to praise his horse, I venture
a short abstract of one of his sketches : " I had twenty miles
to ride and no time to be lost. Giving Fox the rein he ap-
proached the bank of the creek with its rapid current, and
without a moment's hesitation, with a quick step, plunged
in, and swam beautifully across the main channel, but the
moment he struck the overflowed bottom, on the opposite
side, the water about four feet deep, he began to sink and
plunge. The girth broke. I seized tlie stirrup's leather, to
which my saddle bags were fastened, with one hand, the long
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 07
mane of Fox with the other, and was gallantly dragged
through the mud and water to the main land."
That pioneer lawyers were subjected to accidents by floods
especially, I venture another illustration taken from the Bi-
ography of Indiana, Chicago 1875. Judge Blackford on one
of his trips to Vincennes from Indianapolis, came very near
losing his life. " Mounted on a stout horse with overcoat,
leggings, and his saddle-bags full of law books, he undertook
to ford White river near Martinsville, while the river was
swollen by a freshet. He and his horse were swept down
the stream, but eventually landed on an island ....
He was rescued by a farmer. Having dried his law books
and clothing, he waited a couple of days for the water to fall,
when he proceeded on his way."
Io8 THE HISTORY OF
EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS — CONTINUED
Among the early arrivals in Terre Haute, was Attorney
Nathaniel P. Huntington. He came soon after the erection
of Vigo county, to attend the first meeting of the Circuit
court, which was held on the fourth Monday of April, 1818.
There were other lawyers of this circuit present, but as Mr.
Huntington came to make his home here, the court appointed
him prosecuting attorney, pro tcin. for Vigo county. Na-
thaniel P. Pluntington is spoken of as " a man of fine abili-
ties, and who ranked among the ablest lawyers in the profes-
sion, and who was only cheated of great eminence by his
Another prominent pioneer lawyer on the field perhaps
earlier than Mr. Huntington was Hon. Thomas H. Blake.
He was the President judge of the first Judicial court at its
first term before a full bench at the house of Henry Redford,
July 24, 1818. His commission was signed by Jonathan
Jennings, the first governor of Indiana ; and bore the date of
May 14, 1818. He practised law in the village as early as
1817. In 1826 he was sent to Congress. In 1842 President
Tyler made him the commissioner of the General Land Office.
Captain Earle says of Col. Blake: "He was six feet in
height, and well proportioned, light hair, neatly trimmed side
whiskers, well brushed forward, always well dressed, the
ruffle of his shirt standing out beyond his vest, with a smooth
glossy hat, polished boots ... in short. Col. Blake was
the greatest man in Terre Haute in my youthful imagination
except Maj. Lewis."
At this meeting of the court, among others that were ad-
mitted to the bar, were Lewis B. Lawrence and Charles
EARLY TERRE HAUTE I09
Dewey. The latter became eminent as a lawyer, and for
r^any years was one of the judges of the Supreme Court of
Indiana. Our only claim upon Judge Dewey, therefore, is
that he was admitted to the bar in Terre Haute. Air. Law-
rence, however, took up his residence, and opened an office.
Beyond the recorded statement, that he was the legal adviser
in all the steps taken in the establishment of Vigo county,
scarcely anything is known of him. It is somewhat strange
that one so prominent should not have found some chronicler
to perpetuate his memory, and yet we are told that there was
as yet " no learned bar to pass resolutions, nor newspapers
to give flattering obituary notices."
Early in the list of Terre Haute lawyers appears the hon-
ored name of Judge Elisha M. Huntington. Bespeaking
something of the popularity of the man, he was familiarly
called Lish Huntington. I fail to gather data as to his early
life, and as to his first coming here. The first mention of a
date is in the shape of a card in the \\'estern Register of May,
1827, simply announcing E. M. Huntington as a practising
attorney. The date of his appointment as commissioner of
the General Land Office does not appear, but in January,
1837. he was appointed President judge to succeed Amory
Kinney. He resigned this position in 1841, and in May,
1842, the Senate of the L^nited States confirmed him as judge
of the United States District Court of Indiana. Hon. O. H.
Smith, in his Sketches of Early Indiana Trials, says of Judge
Huntington: "He was comparatively a young man when
appointed by President Tyler to the L'. S. Judgeship, but
he discharged the duties of the office to the entire satisfaction
of the bar." He adds further: "His mind is of a high
order, his judgment good, and his courtesy to the bar such as
to make him highly esteemed by all."
Among our pioneer lawyers Hon. James Farrington held
a prominent place. As a public spirited citizen, as well as a
learned lawyer, he left his impress upon the community. He
was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1798. He came to
the West and located at \^incennes ; but in 1822 settled in
no THE HISTORY OF
Terre Haute. He was elected to the legislature in 1825, and
in 1831-32. In 1833-34 he was our State senator. He was the
first cashier of the Terre Haute Branch Bank of the State.
During the existence of the bank, he was its financial adviser,
and one of its prominent directors. In all his legal and
business relations, Mr. Farrington was careful, correct, and
prompt. In 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln
assessor of the Seventh U. S. Internal Revenue District. He
closed a life of honor and usefulness, in the seventy-second
year of his age. The descendants of Mr. Farrington in our
community are proud of the family name, and are guarding
well its honor.
Amory Kinney was born in Bethel, Washington county,
Vermont, April 13, 1791. He first emigrated to the State
of New York. Having been admitted to the bar, he came
West and settled in Vincennes. In 1824, he was admitted
as a member of the Terre Haute bar. He was elected to the
legislature in 1830. In 1831 was appointed President judge
by Gov. Noble. In 1833 he was candidate for Congress.
He was again elected to the legislature in 1847-8. In 1852
upon the establishment of the Common Pleas court he was
elected judge of the court for a term of four years.
The name of Judge Kinney was synonymous with honesty,
and uprightness. As a citizen he was universally respected.
Without pushing himself into notice, he was prominent in
the good work of establishing schools and churches. A
quiet substantial man and public servant, he made for himself
an enviable record. He died while on a visit to his old home
in Vermont in the sixty-ninth year of his age. There are
many among us who recall with pleasure the unassumed
dignity and kindliness of Hon. Judge Amory Kinney. Gen-
eral references will be found elsewhere to Judge Kinney.
Closely allied in social and church relations, and business
interests to Judge Kinney was Samuel Barnes Gookins. For
years they were associated in the firm of Kinney, Wright
and Gookins, in the practice of law. Judge Gookins, in an
account written by himself, of his coming to Terre Haute,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE III
says: "On May 5, 1823, I set out from the home of my
boyhood in the town of Redman, JetTerson county, New
York, to reach the West by a new route. Our company con-
sisted of my mother, a brother of twenty-three, and myself,
not quite fourteen." They came by the northern route and
on the i8th of June, 1823, landed at Fort Harrison, and then
dropped down to Terre Haute, having made the trip in six
weeks and two days. The mother died in 1825, and in 1826,
Mr. Gookins apprenticed himself to J. W. Osborn, editor of
the Western Register. Afterwards he was associated with
John B. Dillon in editing the Vincennes Gazette.
Mr. Gookins by the advice of Judge Kinney began the
study of law in Ivlr. K.'s office, and was admitted to the bar
in 1834. In 1850 he was appointed by Governor Joseph A.
Wright, though of opposite politics to the Judgeship of the
Circuit court. In 1851 the new constitution having been
adopted whereby many changes were required, Judge Goo-
kins was put forward and elected to the legislature. He
served on many committees the most important being that of
the reorganization of the courts. By the new constitution,
the judiciary was made elective by the people. Cooperating
with prominent members of the profession a vigorous effort
was made to keep the choice of judges, especially of the
Supreme court, out of the range of politics, but it was un-
succe.ssful. He held the position of judge of the Supreme
court for three years, when he resigned. He practised law
in Chicago from 1858 to 1875. Judge Gookins stood high
in the profession. As a life long citizen he was proud of
Terre Haute, and was quite ready to claim it as his native
city growing up here as he did from childhood. He died in
Terre Haute in 1880.
Solomon Weight was among our prominent citizens, and
early took up the practice of law: He must have been of that
class of men, who attend to their own business, as very little
can be learned concerning him. Air. Earle says : " Solo-
mon Wright was a hatter by trade, and worked for Mr.
McCabe, but being of a studious turn took to the law, which
112 THE HISTORY OF
he practised successfully for many years. I never heard him
make but one speech in court, and that was on a murder trial,
at Marshall, 111. I took dinner with him that day, and we
rode home in the night, through the almost unbroken forest."
Mr. Wright was for a number of years a member of the
prominent law firm of Kinney, Wright and Gookins.
George W". Cutter was one of Terre Haute's bright young
men. He was related to the family of Mr. Osborn, our
pioneer editor, and studied law in the ofhce of Judge Kinney.
He opened an ofhce for the practice of law. He was also
elected a member of our State legislature. He was doubt-
less more of a poet than a lawyer or politician, and so his
name will appear below in the chapter on Early Poets and
Cromwell Woolsey Barbour, as a Terre Haute boy, at-
tended school in the Old brick school house on the northwest
corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. At an old settlers' meet-
ing held in Terre Haute, Mr. Charles T. Noble, who was
one of our village schoolmasters said : "I want it under-
stood that C. W. Barbour was one of my pupils ; and I
would say further that Mr. Barbour was a good boy at
school." He attended college at Bloomington, Indiana,
about the year 1829. After leaving college he en-
tered the law office of Judge Isaac Blackford, at
Indianapolis. In 1835 he was admitted to the bar and
formed a partnership with Hon. R. W. Thompson, which
proved to be one of the strongest firms in the State. In
1850 he was elected a member of the Constitutional conven-
tion. He helped to lay firm foundations. Especially in the
matter of public education, he is said to have been- the " leader
in that body." In 1852 he was elected president of the
Prairie City Bank. In 1861 he removed to his farm in
Fayette township, which consisted of three hundred and fifty
acres of land, beautifully situated, well watered and wooded.
He enjoyed for many years an ideal home surrounded by a
large and happy family. He was married in 1840 to Derexa,
the accomplished c^aughter of Benjamin Whitcomb. Mr.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE II3
Barbour passed away at his home on May 5, 1889, in the
eighty-first year of his age.
There was something in our Httle town in early days that
made it attractive to eminent men. Gov. James Whitcomb
was among the number. He came to Terre Haute in 1841,
and opened a law office. He enjoyed quite a reputation for
scholarship, and already was a prominent member of his
party. In 1843 ^^^ ^^'^s elected governor and from the gov-
ernorship " was rotated by his party " to the Senate of the
United States. " As was said of ^Martin Van Buren, he pre-
ferred going fifty miles to see a man in political matters to
writing him a single letter on the subject." Mr. Whitcomb
was born near the town of Windsor, Vermont, in 1795. He
died in New York, Oct. 4, 1852. He was buried at Indian-
apolis. Although our claim is slight, yet we are glad to
recognize his citizenship with us, though he resided here but
a short time.
Edward A. Hannegan was another eminent man, who was
attracted to Terre Haute. His expressed wish was that if
he could not have a residence in Terre Haute, he would have
his remains buried there. This wish was complied with,
and in 1859 his body was brought here from St. Louis and
was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery. I searched in vain
for the grave of this eminent Indiana Senator, and only by
the aid of the janitor with the number of the lot, could it be
found. Instead of an imposing monument there stands
onlv a very small headstone bearing no date, but simply the
E. A. HANNEGAN.
Mr. Hannegan was a native of Ohio. In early life he re-
moved to Lexington, Kentucky. Then he came to Indiana,
and settled at Covington, where he made his home for many
years. His career was a brilliant one at the bar, and
in politics. First he served his district in the State legis-
lature, and afterwards was sent to the United States Senate,
where he was recognized as second to none as a brilliant
114 THE HISTORY OF
orator. But a dark cloud settled upon his life. Others have
pierced its depth, and brought to light all the fearful circum-
stances, but in so short a sketch it is well to pass over this,
and in closing say : Mr. Hannegan, by a sacred wish, en-
trusted his ashes to our keeping, and his friends ought to see
that a permanent stone mark the place of his burial.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE H5
EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS — CONTINUED
The names of W. D. Griswold, and John P. Usher are
ahiiost inseparably connected. As lawyers they began busi-
ness in Terre Haute together in 1839. Of their first meeting
at the Prairie House, kept at that time by Mr. Theron
Barnum, Mr. Griswold writes: " Here on a frosty morning
in the fall, as I left the breakfast table, I was followed first
by a young strange guest, and meeting face to face before
the bright grate, we nodded our respects, and opened up a
talk which was the introduction to an intimate business, and
brotherly association and intercourse of fifty years. I had
been in Terre Haute about a year and a half (half of the
time as a teacher). I had a compound lodging and office in
the one-story building at the corner of Second and Cherry
streets." From a long and successful career as a lawyer Mr.
Griswold became a prominent railroad man, and in time re-
moved to St. Louis.
The career of Air. Usher was even more brilliant in that
when he was made a member of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, his
reputation became national. It is said, however, that he ap-
peared at his best as " a court and jury lawyer." He too
drifted into railroad affairs, when he accepted the position of-
fered him by the Union Pacific Railroad. This was the occa-
sion of his removal to Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Usher's death
occurred in 1889. He was born in Madison county. New
York, in 181 6. His residence here was on Ohio street, the
same now occupied by Air. H. Hulman.
There were two lads who started in life as Terre Haute
school boys ; and sooner or later chose the study of law as a
profession. One of these was Blackford B. Mofifatt, the son
Il6 THE HISTORY OF
of Judge James T. Moffatt, who was among the early
pioneers of the vihage. Blackford went to school to Mr.
Benjamin Hayes. He also attended the high schools taught
in the town. In these schools he prepared for Bloomington
College, from which he was graduated in 1844. He also was
graduated from the law department in 1851. Admitted to
the bar, he opened an office in Terre Haute and met with
flattering success. Mr. Chauncey Rose spoke of him as one
of the most promising young lawyers of the town. He is
still remembered by many of his old clients, who speak en-
thusiastically of his skill in managing cases, and his thorough
grasp of the law. In the midst of his career, however, he
was cut down by death, which occurred Alay 21, 1864.
Charles Cruft was the other lad referred to above. He
was born in Terre Haute Jan. 12, 1826. His father, John
F. Cruft, was a pioneer merchant. Being educated himself,
and embued with the New England love of learning, he gave
his son all the advantages of our village schools. His early
teachers were Miss Bishop, Charles T. Noble, and W. D.
Griswold. He was then sent to Wabash College, Crawfords-
ville, then under the presidency of Rev. Charles White, D.D.,
who has been termed, " The ideal College president." He
was graduated in the class of 1843. In furthering his plans
he engaged as an assistant teacher in the Classical school
taught by Rev. Robert Croes, on the southeast corner of
Third and Ohio streets. He was employed as clerk in the
State Bank, after which he studied law in the of!ice of his
old preceptor, W. D. Griswold. ]\Ir. Cruft was admitted
to the bar in 1848. For some time he was actively engaged
in railroad afifairs. After this he formed a law partnership
with the lamented John P. Baird. It is recorded of this firm :
" That the brilliant genius of Col. Baird as a pleader and
court advocate, was equalled only by General Cruft's ability
as an adviser and counselor, and to the latter fell all the office
details in the innumerable causes in which they acted."
There was no law firm stood higher than the well known firm
of Baird and Cruft.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE II7
General Cruft's war record gave him a national reputa-
tion. He entered the service as Colonel of the celebrated
Thirty-First Regiment, Indiana Volunteers ; and was mus-
tered into service Sept. 20, 1 861. The regiment went im-
mediately to the South by the way of Evansville, and was
with Grant at Fort Donelson, and Shiloh. For remarkable
gallantry at Shiloh, Cruft was promoted to the rank of
Brigadier general, July 16, 1862. In the simple record of the
battles participated in, lies a volume of history that can never
be written pertaining to the bravery and heroism of both
officers and men.
Perhaps nothing can be written that will give so correct
an estimate of the warrior and the man, as his own noble
sentiments delivered in his address at the reunion of the
army of the Cumberland, at Chicago in 1868. He said:
" Your example in quietly returning to your homes from
the bloody scenes of four years of war, is full of meaning
and instruction. The lesson to be learned from such con-
duct was not lost to the world. To-day the monarchs of
Europe wonder how it was done. All civilization is aston-
ished to know how one million of volunteer soldiers, who
have fought to a successful issue the most malignant civil
war which time has yet recorded, have quietly stacked their
arms, and betaken themselves to civil pursuits." Such com-
mendation and appreciation is healthy reading, and bespeaks
the mind of a royal as well as loyal American citizen.
It is recorded 'of General Cruft that during his long career
in the Masonic fraternity, as well as in the G. A. R. and
other Military organizations, " he displayed a most wonder-
fully retentive memory of names and faces, and could place
with great correctness all the brothers and comrades with
whom he may have come in contact." But the final record
must be written. General Charles Cruft died of heart dis-
ease after a short illness on the morning of March 24, 1883.
William K. Edwards emigrated from Kentucky into
Indiana in 1820. He was related on his mother's side to Gen.
Zachary Taylor, who afterwards became president of the
Il8 THE HISTORY OF
United States. Col. Edwards was graduated from the State
University at Bloomington, in 1841, under the presidency
of the distinguished Rev. Dr. Wyhe. He opened a law of-
fice in Terre Haute in 1843. I'"' 1845 ^^^ ^^'^s elected a
member of the State legislature. Subsequently he was re-
turned to the legislature on three different occasions, and at
one time served as Speaker of the house. He enjoyed the
reputation of being " the best posted parliamentarian in Indi-
ana." As an Odd Fellow he w^as Past Grand Master of the
State, and was active in the work of organizing and building
up sister lodges. He was prominent as a politician, but was
" signally free from partisan bitterness." As a citizen he
stood ready to serve the community in humble as well as
high places. Col. Edwards was the chosen confidential ad-
viser of Mr. Chauncey Rose. His counsel was not only
sought, but foUow^ed. He w^as prominent as a Masoh
as well as an Odd Fellow. He was widely known
throughout the State ; and everybody at home knew Col.
Edwards. He was a gentleman of the old school, friendly,
polite and approachable. To know Col. Edwards was to re-
spect him. His death occurred in Terre Haute Sept. 25,
1878. " The announcement called the whole State to put on
the emblems of mourning." Friends from home and abroad
gathered at his funeral to pay their last respects to the hon-
Harvey D. Scott was a native of Ohio, but came lo Terre
Haute in 1838. He studied law in the office of Hon. R. W.
Thompson ; and after his admission to the bar was associated
with him in the practice of law for some eight years. In
1852 he was elected as a member of the State legislature, and
in 1855 v\'as sent to Congress. In 1858 he was made treas-
urer of Vigo county and was reelected in i860. He was
elected State senator in 1868 for four years ; and in 1872 was
reelected for a second term. Mr. Scott stood high in the
community as a man and a citizen. He was plain, honest,
and unassuming. His friends sometimes thought he was
too honest for his own good, as he would often advise his
EARLY TERRE HAUTE II9
clients " to keep out of the law." In a long political career
he was so considerate that he commanded the respect and
praise of those who sharply disagreed with him. Air. Scott
on account of ill health removed to California, where he died.
Hon. Richard W. Thompson was born in Virginia, June
the 9th, 1809. He traces his ancestry back to revolu-
tionary patriots. In his reminiscences, he refers with just
pride to the hospitable home of his boyhood where " Old
men of Revolutionary fame, friends of Washington, who
were specially friendly to Washington's idea of a ' strong
central government,' assembled and discussed groat ques-
tions of State." He was thus early imbued with the Wash-
ingtonian principles and so far was a whig in politics. In
1 83 1, Air. Thompson came to Indiana and stopped at Bed-
ford, where he taught school ; clerked in the store of a
prominent merchant of the place ; began the study of law in
private, also under the tutorship of Judge Dewey, who after-
wards was one of the able judges of the Supreme Court of
Indiana. Called upon on Fourth of July occasions, Air.
Thompson's natural gifts as an orator were soon discovered,
as well as the natural trend of his thoughts towards political
subjects. He was sent to the State legislature in 1834, and
reelected in 1835, and in 1836 was sent to the Senate.
He declined to run as candidate for a second term. He
formed a partnership for the practice of law with Hon.
George C. Dunn. In 1840 he accepted the position of elector
in the Harrison campaign. In this memorable campaign Col.
Thompson made a national reputation as a political orator.
In 1 841 he was elected to Congress, but declined a second
nomination. In 1842 Air. Thompson came to Terre Haute
to make a permanent home. And here we must stop, for to
attempt even in outline, to trace the progressive steps of this
ever successful man at the bar, on the stump, in the halls
of Congress, in the cabinet of the United States, would re-
quire a volume instead of the allotted page or two of this
A remarkable life was that of our late fellow townsman.
I20 THE HISTORY OF
Col. Thompson. Coming here in 1842 he looked into the
faces of our earliest pioneers, and took by the hand our latest
citizens. Not only so, but looking back to his earliest child-
hood with easy grasp he was able to span the life of the Na-
tion, having come in contact with those who had conversed
with Washington. Terre Haute has reason to congratulate
herself in having possessed so eminent a citizen, and so grand
a man as the late Hon. Richard W. Thompson.
For an estimate of Air. Thompson's life it is sufficient that
I refer to published account in Encyclopedias, Magazines,
and Biographical sketches • but I cannot refrain from briefly
speaking of a single achievement which will form an im-
portant stone in the arch which shall ever commemorate his
memory. I refer to His Personal Recollections, of Sixteen
Presidents, from Washington to Lincoln. The book is
unique in that it portrays the underlying political principles
that agitated the country during the several administrations
of the period described. Instead of an abstract discussion
or tame description, Mr. Thompson pictures in a familiar
manner, but with a classic pen, the exact portraiture of lead-
ing Statesmen as they pass into the Congressional arena, and
act their several parts. It is a revelatioji almost to follow the
author in his thorough exposition of political principles held
and defended by these great antagonists ; and to see how the
weal or woe of the country seemed to hang in the balance.
In his familiar and reminiscent treatment of the principles
themselves and the conflicts to which they led, lies the charm
of the book.
The national reputation of Mr. Thompson reflects favor-
ably upon Terre Haute, since it was the home of this ven-
erable man for almost sixty years.
Richard Wiggington Thompson died Feb. 9. 1900 in the
ninety-first year of his age. His funeral was imposing as it
was befitting that it should be. Representatives from differ-
ent cities of our own as well as other States were present to
do honor to the distinguished dead. His body was laid at rest
in Highland Lawn Cemetery.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 121
However gratifying it might be to speak individually of
a long list of eminent lawyers, members of the Terre Haute
bar, headed by such men as Hon. Daniel W. X'orhees and
Hon. Thomas H. Nelson, who by reason of the overlapping of
men's lives seem cotemporaneous with the early comers pre-
vious to 1840, yet we have already overstepped our chrono-
logical limit, and as there must be a stopping place, it is well
to stop here.
THE HISTORY OF
Before the physician with his magic saddle bags, was the
pioneer grandmother, who by gifts of mind and heart, and
large experience, was the good angel of the neighborhood.
A call to a sick bed no matter what the weather, or time of
night, was a call to go on a ministry of mercy. Taught by
her mother before her, she knew herb teas that would warm
a chill or cool a fever. Almost every neighborhood had such
a gifted noble-hearted woman, whose life was beyond
The pioneer doctor, however, pressed hard upon the
footsteps of the earliest settlers. He was a most wel-
come guest, in the lone cabin where sickness h^d entered
the door before him. Neither winter's cold, summer's heat,
nor darkness of the night, stood as an hindrance to the per-
formance of his professional duties. His faithfulness can
only be measured by the confiding trust imposed by his
For the most part our early physicians traveled their
rounds on horseback, with their saddle bags thrown over
their saddles. The contents of these bags was a never ending
curiosity to the small boy, who was permitted to stand at the
table, where the doctor was serving out his little powders.
There were innumerable vials, sm»all and great ; well folded
packages, securely tied, containing white, red and variegated
powders ; also little cases filled with sharp lances ; and big
cases with a variety of instruments, some of which were for
wrenching out human teeth ; for the doctor was expected to
meet every emergency, and to cure every human ill. It is
true there were chronic and deep-seated difficulties, but for
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 23
the most part sickness was confined to malarial troubles. The
newly up-turned sod, on account of the rotting process, which
so soon followed ; and the rank growth of succulent weeds
in the bottoms, subject to the overflow of creeks and rivers,
engendered a malaria, which poisoned the atmosphere, and
produced sickness that at times tested the highest skill of the
There was one sickness that medical knowledge could not
fathom. A dreaded disease commonly known as '' milk sick-
ness." It prevailed in the fall of the year ; but neither the
observation of the farmer, nor the book knowledge of the
physician could determine its origin. Some thought the cow
contracted it from the water, others from some peculiar
wild grass or weed, but no one could certainly determine.
Of this, however, they were sure, to drink the milk, or eat
the flesh of a diseased animal was to contract the disease.
The infected districts confined themselves to certain streams
of water, or dry prairies ; but no farmer would admit that
his farm bordered on such a district. Sometimes persons
would sufifer for years without knowing the real nature of
their illness ; at other times they would die in the course of
a few months. The disease was not confined to this section
of the country, but was common especially in the extreme
South. But what science could not do in discoveri-ng or in
eradicating, time has done, so nothing has been heard for the
past half century of- this once dreaded " milk sickness."
Among our earliest doctors were those who came with the
army to Fort Harrison. The first among these was Dr.
Richard Taylor, who was the military surgeon under the
command of Captain Zachary Taylor. After leaving the
command, he is said to have settled in Parke county, where
he died in 1830. Doctor McCullough and Middleton were
military physicians under the command of Major Chunn.
Dr. William Clark was also at one time in the fort. He
with others answered all official calls from early settlers re-
siding near the fort.
Dr. Charles B. Modesitt concerning whom reference has
T?4 THE HISTORY OF
been made, enjoyed the reputation of being the first pioneer
physician in Terre Haute. While he was a man of afifairs,
he was duly qualified as a physician and surgeon. " He had
an extensive practice, and deservedly ranked with the
most eminent of the profession in Western Indiana." He
was born in the State of Virginia in 1784, graduated from
Prince William College in 1808. He moved to Ohio near
Cincinnati in 18 14, and to Terre Haute in 18 16, where after
an active life he died in 1848.
Mr. W. W. Woolen, in his Biographical Sketches, tells of
a very slight claim early Terre Haute had upon John W.
Davis, M. D. It seems that Dr. Davis came into Indiana
in 1823 and settled at Carlisle, Sullivan Co. Thinking to
better his prospects, he moved to Terre Haute in the spring
of 1826. Discouraged on account of sickness in his family,
he returned to Carlisle. In 1828, he was induced to run for
the legislature, but was defeated by our townsman, William
C. Linton. In 1829 he was elected Associate judge and
from that date his political prospects were assured, as he was
often elected to the State legislature, also to Congress. He
was sent as a foreign minister to China, and by appointment
was made a Territorial governor. " And all these places "
it is said, " he filled with credit to himself and to his adopted
State." In the above we detract nothing from the first claim
of Carlisle, the home of this much honored man for so many
years, where he died in 1859 and in wdiose cemetery his re-
Dr. Lawrence S. Shuler was without doubt the most noted
surgeon among our pioneer physicians. This position has
been freely acceded to him by his medical brethren. He
was born in the State of New York in 1790, and was grad-
uated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons
of New York city in 181 5 or 16. In 1825 he
came to Terre Haute, having practised some time
in Vincennes. Soon after he entered into partnership
with Dr. E. V. Ball, who had been his student at
Vincennes, and who by his request had also removed to
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 25
Terre Haute. This copartnership continued till the decease
of Dr. Shuler in 1828, at Vincennes while on a visit there for
rest and recuperation, at the age of thirty-seven years. One
among his many extraordinary operations, at that early
day, was the restoration of sight to a little girl of eleven
years, from congenital blindness. The child staid at his
house for several months^ and when her vision was restored,
Mrs. Shuler, wife of the doctor, states that " the child was
almost bewildered with joy at the wonders before her. Col-
ors were with difficulty learned, and her friends were only
known for a long time, by the sound of their voices. When
the father came for her, he was a stranger, to her eyes, but
a father when he spoke." Other quite as successful opera-
tions, accounts of which he kept in his notebook, might be
repeated, but this is sufficient to show the enviable reputation,
gained by one who was just entering upon a course of wide
usefulness. His good name and fame are kindly cherished
by his many descendants, who reside in other parts of the
State as well as in this city ; also by numerous friends of the
126 THE HISTORY OF
EARLY THYSICIANS — CONTINUED
Dr. Edward V. Ball, as intimated above, was a student
under Dr. Lawrence S. Shuler, and came to Terre Haute by
his solicitation, in 1826, where they entered into the practice
of medicine together. Dr. Ball was a native of Hanover,
New Jersey, and was born in 1800. H«» continued his pro-
fession in Terre Haute for some forty-seven years, up to a
short time before his death, which was in March, 1873. Dr.
Ball was a Christian gentleman of large common sense and
of inexhaustible forbearance, as well as a successful and con-
scientious physician. That he was selected by Dr. Shuler
as a partner, while as yet but a student, speaks much in his
praise. Besides through a life-long practice, he held among
his patrons some of the best families of the city. Many of
whom could say v/ith a good deal of satisfaction : " Dr. Ball
was the physician in my father's family, and is now my own
For many long years no figure was more familiar on
our streets, or on the long open roads stretching over the
prairie, than that of Dr. Ball, sitting in his sulky behind a
young and often unbroken colt. The " sulky " was a two-
wheeled afifair, with a chair-shaped seat with springs, fast-
ened to shafts which in turn were fastened to the axle tree.
Add to this skeleton of a cart, a narrow floor for the feet,
finished with a dash board, and you have the Doctor's gig.
His horse and gig standing at the bars of a country cabin,
or at the gate of a village house, was a sign of sickness and
suffering within. Like many other physicians. Dr. Ball was
a great admirer of the horse, the younger and more spirited
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 27
Dr. E. V. Ball was married in 1828 to Miss Sarah E.
Richardson, daughter of Mr. Joseph Richardson, of Fort
Harrison memory. It was this Mrs. Ball, who when a child,
resided in the fort with the rest of the family, when her
mother, her father being absent in Washington on business,
took passage with her children in an open boat for Vincennes,
manned by two Frenchmen. Mrs. Ball survived her hus-
band for several years, honored not only for her true woman-
hood but as one of the pioneers of our town. She was in
full sympathy with her husband in his life work. The names
of Dr. and Mrs. Ball are sacredly cherished by a large family
connection, who are residents of our city, and by a large circle
of surviving friends.
Dr. Septer Patrick was originally from the State of New
York. " He practised medicine on the Wabash, and in this
place until his head was whitened, enjoying the confidence
and respect of his medical brethren and the entire com-
munity." He was brusk in his manner even to seeming
roughness, yet back of this he was kind hearted, and as sym-
pathetic as a child. And though often misunderstood his pa-
tients were fully aware that he had their best interests at
heart. He was a close observer, and by his knowledge and
skill was eminently successful. During the gold excitement,
he removed to California with his family, where he died in
1858, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.
Dr. Richard Blake settled in Terre Haute in 1832. He
was a native of the State of Maryland and was graduated
from the Medical College at Baltimore. He is highly spoken
of as an accomplished physician and gentleman. He sus-
tained an honorable position in all the relations of life.
" Although he abandoned the practice of his profession at an
early period," yet he always referred to the profession, and
science of medicine with pride. Dr. Blake suffered from
chronic trouble which " gradually wore away his life." For
the sake of rest, he visited his old home in Maryland, where
he died in 1856 at the age of eigl^t^^^ht years.
Dr. J. W. Hitchcock was at one time a partner with Dr.
128 THE HISTORY OF
Septer Patrick. " Their office was on First street in the
same row with Dr. Modesitt, also of Wasson's tavern, Mc-
Cabe's hat shop and Osborn's printing office."
To illustrate something of the hardships of the physician.
Dr. Hitchcock related in a published letter, his own experi-
ence. Told in few words it was as follows : It was in
183 1 while in partnership wath Dr. Septer Patrick, a man
from Christie's prairie below Lockport, called and said " his
wife had gaped her jaw out of joint." It fell to Dr. Hitch-
cock to answer the call. It was in the midst of winter, and
the roads down in the country were almost impassable. He
found and relieved the sufferer, and as he returned in at-
tempting to cross Lost Creek at the usual ford, to use his own
language, " the ice proved too weak . . . and broke
through at every step ; I urged my horse forward. His fore-
feet would be upheld till he raised our whole weight upon
it, when it would break ; about the middle of the stream my
horse became discouraged, he stood shaking as if alarmed.
I dismounted and broke the ice to the shore, yet he would
not move. I tried to lead him, and talked to him in soothing
terms, but to no purpose. I was freezing and became des-
perate ; going behind him I plied the lash as never before.
He plunged forward in perfect terror to the shore and then
stopped to wait for me." The doctor, we are glad to add, ar-
rived home safely. His only reward was the satisfaction of
rendering relief to a poor sufferer.
In a long list of business men enumerated by Judge Goo-
kins in his History of Vigo county, residing in Terre Haute
about the year 1830, he gives among the physicians the name
of Dr. Thomas Parsons, who was a native of Maryland.
His ancestors on the paternal and maternal side were respec-
tively Irish and English. He emigrated to Kentucky while
yet quite a boy, and resided there till he was about eighteen
years of age. Dr. Parsons came to Indiana in 1819, dividing
his time between Terre Haute and Vincennes, but finally
settled in Terre Haute in 1822-23. Here he studied medi-
cine and practised his profession successfully for thirty years.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 29
In the latter part of the forties, he was married to Miss Eliza-
beth Ryman, who was a native of Kentucky. In the spring
of 1850, during the gold excitement, he went to California,
but returned to Terre Haute after two or three years. Soon
after this he removed with his family to his large farm in
Douglas county, Illinois, where he made his home till his
death in 1885, at the age of eighty-seven years.
Dr. ]\Iaxwell W. Wood was a copartner with Dr. S. Pat-
rick. Afterwards he became a surgeon in the United States
navy. Dr. Ezra Reed, a special friend, in 1875, wrote con-
cerning him : " Surgeon Maxwell W. Wood now senior
of the United States Navy has ranked at every period of his
life, as one of the most distinguished medical officers of the
navy, and to whom this branch of the service is largely in-
debted for radical and important professional improvements.
He long presided at the head of one of the naval bureaus in
Washington City." Dr. Wood was the eldest son of Mrs.
Charlotte Wood, widow of the late John Wood, a native of
London, England. The father v/as a captain in the war of
18 1 2. The mother was born in New Jersey, and came with
her children to Terre Haute in 1835. She died at the ad-
vanced age of eighty-eight years and three months, mourned
by her devoted children and grandchildren and a large circle
Dr. John Wood was also a son of Mrs. Charlotte Wood.
He followed his profession for a number of years in Terre
Haute, and numbered among his patients " a large propor-
tion of the leading citizens of the place."
Dr. Ebenezer Daniels was a graduate of Jefferson Med-
ical College, Philadelphia. He is said to have been ambitious
to excel in his profession, and was correspondingly indus-
trious. He excelled as a surgeon, and was partial to that
branch of the profession. How early Dr. Daniels came to
Terre Haute I have no data to determine. He died of pneu-
monia in 1847, when about fifty-six years old. Dr. Reed,
in writing up our pioneer physicians, paid this tribute to Dr.
Daniels : " I have rarely seen any one '.vho could more
130 THE HISTORY OF
readily bring to light latent difficulties at the bedside, or
more skillfully suggest proper remedies.
Dr. Ezra Reed was born near Marietta, Ohio, August,
181 1. He was brought up on a farm. He worked during
the summer and went to school in the winter. He attended
the Ohio University for three years, where his brother was
a professor. His natural ability and strength of mind re-
vealed themselves upon a slight acquaintance. Dr. Reed
loved books, and gathered together an extensive library.
His books took a wider range than his profession showing
that he possessed a broad literary taste.
As a physician Dr. Reed stood high in his profession. He
was a friend of the poor and always stood ready to serve
I have searched in vain to find the date of his first coming
to Terre Haute, but his career was a long and successful one.
It falls to the lot of few physicians to enjoy the confidence of
a community as thoroughly as did Dr. Reed. He died in
1877, at the age of sixty-six. The flags of the city were dis-
played at half mast in his honor. Members of his profes-
sion, the leading citizens of the town, in fact the whole com-
munity united at the funeral, in honoring the man who had
done so much for the poor, as well as the rich.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE IJI
NEWSPAPERS AND EDITORS
As early as 1823 seven years after its founding, Terre
Haute had a newspaper. The first number was issued July
21, 1823. It was a " four column paper about twelve by
fourteen inches in size." The first edition is said to have
consisted of two hundred copies; a small but safe beginning,
considering that the article of paper was scarce, and readers
comparatively few, to say nothing as to subscribers. The
supply of paper came from Louisville. Bad roads and low
water were serious hindrances ; on these accounts the news-
paper did not appear regularly, and then sometimes in a half
sheet. At such times, ordinary wrapping paper from the
stores was used. The subscription was fixed at two dollars
per annum. This little sheet was a forerunner of civiliza-
tion, planted on the extreme frontier. It was here to record
the events in the wilderness, as well as to keep our little vil-
lage in touch with the doings of the eastern world, and hence
appropriately named the Western Register.
The first number contained a variety of notices such as an
account of the recent Fourth of July celebration at which
Thomas H. Blake delivered the oration ; that a regular line
of keel boats would ply between Terre Haute and Shawnee-
town, freight taken on the most accommodating terms; that
Dr. Modesitt's ferry was ready to accommodate all who would
favor him with their patronage ; Postmaster Coleman adver-
tises a list of uncalled for letters ; the editor himself requests
that " letters on business be post paid ;" a most important sug-
gestion as the postage was twenty-five cents for a single
letter. In the column of foreign news, there is a notice of a
declaration of war between France and Spain. The second
132 THE HISTORY OF
number contained seventeen advertisements. One would
question whether a paper on so small a scale could be on a
paying basis. Each issue, at the first, was a seven days'
wonder, as on Saturdays, the day of publication, the people
are said to have gathered from the country, as well as the
town to greet its appearance.
The editor and proprietor of this little pioneer sheet was
John W. Osborn. His home was originally in Canada.
His father, Capt. Samuel Osborn, was a naval officer in the
British army. In 1812, at the breaking out of the war, Mr.
Osborn already a professional printer, came into the State
of New York, where he remained till 1816. In 1817 he came
to Indiana, and published the Western Sun, at Vincennes.
Here the practical question to be met was the right of kid-
napping, or in other words the fearful wrong of insisting
upon property rights in former slaves, notwithstanding the
grand provision in the new Constitution. Rich and influ-
ential citizens of Vincennes were ready to send their negroes
into Kentucky, where by sale they might realize something
for them. Then there were those who descended into the
miserable business of kidnapping these free negroes of In-
diana and running them off to the south, for the sake of
selling them. Editor Osborn met this question squarely in
his newspaper, advocating the carrying such cases into the
courts, and up to the Supreme court. For which he was
hated by the pro-slavery men, of whom there were not a few.
He was openly threatened with violence, as was also Judge
Amory Kinney, who was one of his supporters, and who re-
sided in Vincennes at the time.
In 1823, Mr. Osborn loaded his press into a wagon, and
set out for Terre Haute. The dangers of the journey from
high water were not insurmountable, but when an ignorant
driver lost his way, the case was different. And so in at-
tempting to cross a stream in a wrong place, the wagon was
overturned, and its precious burden landed in the water.
This was thought to have been prearranged by the enemies
of a free press, but no positive evidence was at hand. Mr.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 133
Osborn found negroes in Terre Haute, but no false claims
of our citizens of property rights in them. He found, how-
ever, if possible, a greater evil which was the prevailing curse
of intemperance. Here his paper was made to take a kind
but firm stand. He condemned the drink but not the drinker.
It is said that when two farmers came for their papers on
Saturday night, being too drunk to return home, he kept them
all night, gave them a good breakfast and sent them home
sober. They were ever afterwards his staunch friends. In
1828-9 by reason of ill health, Mr. Osborn was compelled to
give up the care of the paper.
The name of Amory Kinney appears as its editor, and in
1830-2 that of S. B. Gookins. Mr. Osborn after spending
some time on his farm, again undertook the role of a pub-
lisher, by establishing the Ploughboy at Greencastle. In
this he espoused the causes of agriculture, temperance and
education. He was one of the founders of Asbury Uni-
versity, and one of its first trustees. In 1838 he removed
with his paper to Indianapolis, changing the name to the In-
diana Farmer and Stock Register. While there he was
elected to the position of State printer. When the war of
the rebellion broke out he moved to the town of Sullivan, and
established a paper which he named The Stars and Stripes.
Endowed with indomitable courage and perseverance to-
gether with strong convictions of right, John W. Osborn was
fitted to become the first pioneer editor of early Terre Haute.
The Wabash Courier was the successor of the Western
Register, that is, in 1832 the Register was merged into the
Courier by Thomas Dowling. as editor and proprietor. Mr.
Dowling was a native of Ireland. He came to the United
States with his parents when quite a lad. He was ap-
prenticed in the office of the National Intelligencer at Wash-
ington City. In 1832 he came to Terre Haute, where as inti-
mated above, he published the Wabash Courier. The times
were favorable as the town was fast filling up. The great
lack was houses to accommodate the people. Evervbody
was hopeful. There was progress everywhere. Internal
134 THE HISTORY OF
improvements were the questions of the hour. The great
enterprises on foot were the National road, the Wabash and
Erie canal, and even Railroads were beginning to be seriously
spoken of. The Indiana State Bank and its branches, one of
which was established here, were signs of progress. The
interest of the Newspaper must not be suffered to lag.
Mr. Dowling, in establishing the Wabash Courier, had
the ability, tact, and experience which eminently fitted him
to become, as he was soon recognized to be, one of the first
editors in the State. After ten years' control of the Courier,
he disposed of it and founded the Express. He displayed
in the editorship of this paper the same energy and ability
in keeping his paper in the lead. In 1836 Mr. Dowling was
elected to the State legislature, and proved to be an able
debater, and wise legislator in the many important public
interests of the day. He was afterwards appointed one of
the trustees of the Wabash and Erie canal. As a public-
minded citizen none stood higher. He was ready to serve
the community and he did serve them as City councillor, and
as County commissioner. Like all men, ]Mr. Dowling was
not perfect, but unlike many, he w^as able, upright, generous,
social, and greatly appreciated by his friends. Mr. Dowling
died in 1876, leaving a widow and several children, and a
host of friends to mourn his loss. In natural gifts ]\Ir. D.
was many sided, but in the history of Terre Haute he will
be best remembered as a Newspaper editor.
In 1 841, Mr. Dowling sold the Wabash Courier to Judge
Jesse Conard, who w'as its editor for some twenty-five years.
There was a change in the management but not in the politics
of the paper. It continued as an exponent of whig principles.
Mr. Conard possessed literary ability, but not the push and
open frankness of Mr. Dowling. In holding control of the
paper so many years, he proved his editorial ability. He
came here from Chester county, Pennsylvania, and not only
as an editor but as a public spirited man, commanded the
respect of the community. He was elected as a Probate
judge hence his rightful claim to the title. As to his literary
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 135
ability it appeared in his paper, and also in his two novels,
one of which, Stephen Moreland, was published at Phila-
delphia, and the other, ]Mount Echo, at Cincinnati, after he
came to Terre Haute.
In the sale of the Wabash Courier, we are told that the
mutual agreement was, that j\Ir. Dowling should not establish
another newspaper in Terre Haute till after a period of five
years. In the meantime, however, Mr. Dowling saw clearly
a good opening, and his brother John, upon receiving the in-
formation, came from Washington in 1842. " After his ar-
rival the Terre Haute Express as a weekly paper, was given
to the public, with John Dowling as publisher."
This was the origin of the Terre Haute Express in 1842.
The paper was run by the Dowlings till 1845, when it w^as
sold to Mr. David S. Danaldson. " The birth of the Express
was in a room in the second story of the Linton block front-
ing on Main street." From here Mr. Danaldson moved it
to an old frame, on the northeast corner of Main and Fourth
streets, and then to a one story frame, next to the Old Town
hall, on corner of Ohio and Third streets.
It seems too bad to break the story of the Terre Haute
newspaper, just at the point where it is growing in interest.
There was never any lack of politics in Terre Haute for news-
paper purposes ; but previously to 1838, when ]\Ir. J. P. Chap-
man on July 4th sent forth the first number of his able paper
the \\'abash Enquirer, but one fire had been kindled under
the political pot ; henceforth, however, not only one, but some-
times three and four distinct fires were kept ablaze and
therefore there was no lack of heat and fierce political strife.
As a matter of public interest I cannot forbear giving a
condensed account of the first Daily, issued in Terre Haute.
For the extended account we are indebted to James B. Ed-
munds, a Terre Haute boy. who was the editor and proprietor
of the Terre Haute Journal. In 185 1. Judge Jesse Conard
of the Wabash Courier, resolved to start a daily. His pur-
pose was that the appearance of the paper should be a sur-
prise. But incidentally Isaac M. Brown, foreman of the
136 THE HISTORY OF
Express office, learned of the plan of the Courier editor.
Ambitious and jealous for his own paper, he at once went
to Mr. Danaldson and explained that the Express office was
thoroughly manned and furnished so that it could in every
way outstrip the Courier in the matter of a daily issue. He
soon gained Mr. Danaldson's consent. Therefore the first
issue of a Terre Haute daily paper was made by the Express
on May 12th, 185 1.
Mr. David Danaldson will be remembered by the Press
fraternity as the publisher of the first daily paper in Terre
Haute ; yet we do not forget that he came to Terre Haute in
1835, and engaged at once in merchandizing with his brother,
John Danaldson. He was also a member of the firm of
Ripley & Danaldson, in which he continued till 1861, when
he opened a claim agency. Mr. Daniel Danaldson was a na-
tive of Kentucky, and was born in 1809. He died at an
advanced age. His widow. Auntie Danaldson as she was
familiarly called, survived him for some years. She was
beloved by her earliest and by her latest friends. When Mrs.
Danaldson passed from us our city sufifered loss. Not only
her immediate family but friends and acquaintances were
conscious that a hght had gone out in our community.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 137
STORE KEEPERS AND PORK MERCHANTS
A DIFFERENCE of Opinion prevailed as to who opened the
first store in our village, till the question was settled by Mr.
Lucius H. Scott, who in a letter says in substance : " As an
agent for Alessrs. Wasson & Sayers of Vincennes, in No-
vember, 18 1 7, I rented a room of Dr. Modesitt, and had it
fitted up for a store room. Though delayed by the freezing
of the river, the goods were received and the store opened
for business on the ist of ajnuary, 1818. These were the
first goods ever opened for sale in Terre Haute. John Earle
did not arrive till the autumn of that year." This enterprise
of Air. Scott could not have been a success, as the store was
closed in May, 18 18.
Few men were better known or more highly esteemed in
the community than this young pioneer merchant. In 1822
he was employed by Josephus CoUett, who was also a pioneer
merchant of the town, to start a country store at Roseville,
Parke county, where he remained for some four or five years.
Returning to Terre Haute he says : " I erected on the corner
of Ohio and Market streets a residence which was the first
brick dwelling ever erected in Terre Haute." This building
still stands as a substantial land-mark of early days. Further
reference is made to Mr. Scott in a former chapter. He
spent the later years of his life in Philadelphia, where he
died in 1875.
The John Earle, to whom Air. Scott refers, was four or
five months behind him, /. e., in setting up his store. He
has honorable mention in the list of settlers in 1816, and built
a story and a half house, part of logs and part frame on the
corner of Water and Poplar streets. The store was in the
log portion of the building. How long Mr. Earle was en-
138 THE HISTORY OF
gaged in store keeping, we are not informed. He was the
father of the celebrated Capt. Wilham Earle, who at an early
age left his home " to pursue his chosen calling, a sea-faring
life." His celebrated letter dated, Bark Emily Morgan, at
sea, March 25, 1875, contains invaluable reminiscences of
Terre Haute previous to 1823. Capt. Earle enjoys the
reputation of being the first male child born in Terre
Stephen S. Collett and Josephus, his brother, were among
the earliest settlers of Terre Haute. They came from Penn-
sylvania, and were originally of English and Dutch descent.
The exact date of their coming is not known ; possibly it was
before 1820. They opened a store on the north side of the
public square, midway between Second and Third streets.
The building was a " two story frame with a red roof." In
1 82 1, however, Stephen S. Collett was married to Sarah
Groenendyke, w^ho was a native of New York. In 1822 the
firm set up a branch store at Roseville, under the management
of Lucius H. Scott as intimated above. The brothers evi-
dently were forehanded and had little taste for the confining
business even of a country store, and so they purchased large
tracts of land in Vermilion county, and engaged in farming
on a large scale, at the same time giving more or less attention
to public affairs. They moved from Terre Haute in 1826.
Stephen was sent to the State legislature for several terms;
also to the Senate. In 1843 while a member of the Senate^
The brother, Josephus, was a special friend of both Judge
John Porter, and Ned Hannegan as he was familiarly called.
It is recorded that they entered together into a compact, that
the one who died first, should, if possible, return to his
friends, and give them words or tokens of what was going
on in the other world. Judge Porter was the first to die.
Mr. Hannegan at once visited Mr. Collett. The name of
Mr. Porter was not referred to till bedtime, when Mr. Han-
negan, on being shown to his sleeping room nervously, and
abruptly said : " Joe Collett, has John Porter been back to
EARLY TERRE HAUTE I39
you? " Mr. Collett said: " Xo; has he appeared to you? "
'* Xo ; " said Hannegan, " and now I know there is no com-
ing back after death. John Porter never broke his word."
The name of Collett through the descendants of these broth-
ers is an honored name not only in Terre Haute, but through-
out the State.
Air. Isaac C. Elston was among our earliest merchants.
His name is mentioned as early as 1818. with the Collets,
Blakes, and Whitlocks. In 1823 he appears in a recorded list
of Grand jurors. How long ]\Ir. Elston remained in Terre
Haute we are not informed^ but sooner or later he was \\-ith
INIajor Whitlock attracted to Crawfordsville where he was
a successful and life-long banker.
]\Ir. George Hussey was also one of our early pioneer mer-
chants. He was a native of the city of Baltimore, and came
to Indiana in 1818. He stopped for a time at Vincennes, but
in 1820 came to Terre Haute. He at once opened a store
in the village, but like the Colletts and most of the early
comers, his ideal in coming to the west was the possession
of broad acres, and so he soon deserted the little village store
for a farm near the town. It is recorded of Mr. Hussey
" that having enjoyed the advantages of the schools in Balti-
more during his early life, he was well fitted to aid his chil-
dren in acquiring an education." While a familiar form on
the streets of the village he contmued to reside during his
life on his farm.
The Linton Bros., William C. and David, engaged quite
early in the business of store-keeping. We have no exact
date of their first arrival in Terre Haute, but it was some-
time previous to 182 1. The public records show that at the
August meeting of the Circuit court in 1821, William Linton
was one of the board of commissioners, having been recently
elected. At one time their store is spoken of as located near
the southeast corner of ]\Iain and Third streets. Again at
a different period doubtless, on the corner of Main and Sec-
ond streets. They continued in business together till 1835.
when they died within a few months of each other.
14° THE HISTORY OF
David Linton built the Linton mansion, which it really
was, at that early date, 1830. The building was located in
the center of large grounds on the corner of Ohio and Sixth
streets. This building still stands as a land-mark of early
days. Some few years ago it was moved forward to Ohio
street, and its ample rooms fitted up for business offices.
William Linton had more or less taste for public life. He
served with credit in the State senate, and at the time of his
decease, was on his way to New York as State commissioner
on important business. Through such men as William C.
Linton of whom there was no lack, early Terre Haute enjoyed
a reputation for strict commercial honesty. My good father
in common with, shall I say, all the citizens of the town, en-
tertained the highest regard for William C. Linton. I recall
one story at least he used to tell in regard to j\Ir. L. and his
store, which reflected somewhat upon his clerks and some of
the villagers. At the time Mr. Linton was absent in the east
purchasing goods. In due time with other merchandise, a
large cask was received, and being opened was found to con-
tain salted codfish. The clerks and the villagers in the store
at the time, from the rank smell, pronounced the fish spoiled,
and a drayman was summoned to haul the cask out on the
prairie and empty it. The wise Paddy, knowing the rich
delicacy of the codfish did not lie specially in its odor, noti-
fied some of his friends of the dump on the prairie, and they
eagerly shared the prize among themselves. The story lost
nothing by being repeated, and remained a standing joke for
a long time.
John F. and William S. Cruft were also prominent pioneer
merchants. John F. was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in
1800. Mr. Cruft came to Terre Haute in 1823, and was fol-
lowed by his brother William S. in 1824. Their first store
was on the corner of Water and Ohio streets. In 1826 the
store was moved to a two story frame building with a red
roof, half way between Second and Third streets on Ohio.
In 1827 the firm established a branch at Carlisle, of which the
brother, William S., took charge. In 1828, Mr. John F.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE I4I
Cruft was postmaster. For political reasons he was removed
by President Jackson in 1830, and was succeeded by Francis
Cunningham. In after years he engaged in pork-packing.
He was an active member of the Congregational church.
He died in 1862.
William S. Cruft, while he engaged in business pursuits,
was inclined to be literary in his tastes. In connection with
Air. W. D. Morgan, he established an academy at Carlisle.
In 1845 he returned to Terre Haute, where at the early age of
forty-three years, he passed away. An obituary in Mr. D. S.
Danaldson's paper at the time, speaks in the highest terms of
W. S. Cruft. He was a member of the Presbyterian church.
One sentence from the obituary reads : '' As a citizen, hus-
band, and father, virtues so cluster around him, that few
ever enjoyed such an enviable reputation." The descendants
of these brothers still abide with us, of whom we cannot speak
The firm of Rose & Warren moved their store from Rose-
ville to Terre Haute in 1823, and reopened it on Second street
near the corner of Ohio. For years it was among the leading
stores of the town. While yet at Roseville with Mr.
Chauncey Rose as sole proprietor, Mr. Chauncey Warren was
engaged as a clerk. After some three years he was taken in
as partner. In 1832, some years after the store had been
moved to Terre Haute, he purchased Mr. Rose's interest, and
assuming control, associated with himself his brothers, Wil-
liam and Levi. Chauncey Warren " was one of the
typical, sturdy and self-made men of the county." He was
a quiet man, but was known and respected for his unyielding
integrity. He is pleasantly remembered by many of his ac-
quaintances as full of humor and a great story teller. On ac-
count of a serious affection of his eyes, he was compelled in
1842 to retire from the store, which he sold to his brother,
Levi G. Warren. He was for years one of the directors of
the Terre Haute Branch bank.
Mr. Chauncey Warren came with his father's family to
Indiana in 1820. As indicated above he came to Terre Haute
142 THE HISTORY OF
in 1823. He was born in New Hampshire in 1800. In 1832
he was united in marriage to Miss Frances EHzabeth AIo-
desitt, daughter of Dr. Charles B. Modesitt, one of our
earhest pioneers. Mr. Chauncey Warren died at his home on
South Sixth street, June 18, 1868, leaving a devoted family
and many friends to mourn his death. His widow, Mrs.
Frances E. \\'arren, still survives a comfort to her children,
and a joy to her friends and neighbors.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 43
STORE KEEPERS AND PORK MERCHANTS — CONTINUED
As indicated in the previous chapter, Mr. Levi G. Warren
was a prominent merchant, having purchased the stock of his
brother. He afterwards became president of the old Terre
Haute Branch bank. He was interested in pork-packing,
in real estate, and railroads. Mr. Warren was a prominent
member of the Episcopal church. He was united in mar-
riage to a sister of D. S. Danaldson. The union was blessed
with three children, and to this day children and grand-
children rise up to revere the memory of their parents.
Mr. William B. Warren became a partner with his brother
in 1834. He was afterwards connected with Dr. J. R. Cun-
ningham in the drug business. He then engaged extensively,
for some years, in pork-packing. He was elected president
of the Gas Light Company ; also served for years as director
of the National State Bank. Without strain or haste, but
with due care and industry, from a very small beginning he
accumulated a fortune. He was married in 1850 to Miss Sue
Wliitcomb of Clinton. Mr. Warren died from a stroke of
apoplexy Dec. 17, 1884, at the age of sixty-eight, leaving a
wife, son and daughter to mourn the loss of a devoted hus-
band and loving father.
In 181 1, Benjamin McKeen emigrated from his native
state, Kentucky, into Indiana, and for a time resided in Knox
county. In 1823 he came to Terre Haute. He purchased
large tracts of land east of the village, and prided himself on*
being a farmer. Yet his tastes led him toward traffic and
trade, and for years he was engaged in shipping the produce
of the country in flat boats to New Orleans. In 1849 he was
interested in pork-packing with James Johnson, or " Uncle
144 THE HISTORY OF
Jimmy," as the flat boat men familiarly called him. In 1852
he was engaged in the same business with Mr. W. B. War-
ren and Alexander McGregor. Mr. McKeen was also asso-
ciated in the pork trade, for a number of years, with his son
Samuel. He was born in 1803, and died Dec. 22, 1866.
Through the industry and integrity of the early pioneer, the
McKeen name borne by so many of his descendants is an
honored name in our commifnity.
The Ross family came here as early as 1824. Their names
will appear in the chapter entitled Trades and Tradesmen,
since their first business was that of making brick. Russell,
Harry and James, however, in due time engaged in mer-
chandizing. They were upright and careful men, and highly
appreciated for their moral worth. Their store was on the
west side of the public square, where like their brother mer-
chants they sold calico at twenty-five cents a yard. Russell
died in middle life ; but Harry and James lived to a good old
age. They were life-long members of the Congregational
church. The store was a fixture in Terre Haute for some
twenty years. Mr. Harry Ross w^as a director of the First
National Bank of Terre Haute. For many years also he
served as a member of the City council. He was not only a
member, but deacon of the Congregational church. Uncle
Harry, as he was familiarly called, lived to the remarkable
age of ninety-seven years. He passed peacefully away, leav-
ing behind him sons and daughters to the third generation to
revere his memory.
Mr. Joseph Miller was born in Oswego, New York, in 1796,
He was among the early pioneers, coming to Terre Haute in
1817. For a time he followed the milling business ; but when
Mr. B. I. Oilman, a pork merchant from Cincinnati, Ohio,
built a packing house in Terre Haute in 1824, Mr. Miller
•bought out the establishment, so that he may be said to have
been the pioneer pork packer of our town. He continued
the business for a number of years, most of the time in part-
nership with Jacob D. Early. Their pork and lard were
shipped in flat boats to New Orleans ; whither, like other pork
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 45
merchants, j\Ir. jNIiller was accustomed to journey by stage
and steamboat to look after the sale of his goods. Air. Joseph
Miller stood high among the early merchants of the town.
He was an elder in the Presbyterian church. He died on July
1 2th, 1878, leaving a widow and several children to mourn
his loss. At this writing the widow, Mrs. Margaret Miller,
survives not only as an early pioneer, but as an honored and
aged citizen. Mrs. Miller was born in the State of Virginia,
Dec. 25, 1805. The hundredth mile-stone will soon be in
sight. She is most tenderly cared for at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. Mary M. Morris, the wife of our fellow
townsman Richard A. Morris, whose home for so many years
has been on Alulberry street.
For many years before entering into the pork trade. Air.
Jacob D. Early was engaged in general merchandizing in the
village. After a long and successful partnership with Air.
Joseph Miller he built a packing house of his own. He was
the nrst among our pork merchants to put up sugar-cured
meats. Air. Early was a native of Kentucky. He came to
Vincennes in 1817, and thence to Terre Haute, where he
continued in the pork-packing business till his death, which
occurred in 1869, at the age of seventy years. He left be-
hind him not only large wealth, but also an honored name.
He was a genial gentleman, and a friend of young men just
starting in life. His descendants in this city of whom there
are many, are justly proud of the ancestral name, and sa-
credly cherish the memory of their first Terre Haute an-
cestor, Jacob D. Early.
But space fails for making mention of others, and still
others, who were prominent in early days as pork merchants
and produce shippers. The list would include such persons
as Farrington, Williams and Boudinot, under the name of
John Boudinot and Co. ; Paddock and Co. ; Wilson and Co. ;
John Duncan, " who was well known to the trade, as a packer
of English meats ;" Reiman and Co. ; Humaston and Co.,
and James Johnson.
There were others, who were on the ground earlier, who
146 THE HISTORY OF
were prominent as merchants and citizens. Among whom,
deserving of honorable mention, are such names as Samuel
and John Crawford. They came from Ireland and soon ac-
quired the well deserved reputation of being " model business
men." Their store was on the west side of the public square.
Air. Samuel Crawford took an interest in public affairs, and
was elected as the first town treasurer, in 1832. In after
years he succeeded Mr. Rose as president of the Terre Haute
and Indianapolis R. R. Co., which position he held till his
death in 1857. There was Henry Rose the brother of
Chauncey Rose, who kept a store on the northwest corner of
Ohio and Second streets. There was also, Mr. Alexander
McGregor, who came to Terre Haute in 1833, and opened
the first stock of hardware in the town. His career as a
merchant and as a railroad and bank director was a long
and honorable one. Mr. John Scott was also prominent
among our early merchants. He engaged first in general
merchandizing, afterwards in the drug business. Later he
was made treasurer of the Terre Haute and Indianapolis
R. R. Co. He was a native of Watertown, New York.
Mr. Scott died in Terre Haute at an advanced age. John
F. King kept for many years a large drug store in the town.
In an early day Judge Dewees kept a small store in the
center of the village. Judge Elijah Tillotson had a watch-
maker's shop on the west side of First between Ohio and
Poplar streets, "wdiich had a bow window in which he hung
his watches." About the year 1831 Thompson and Condit
opened a country store on the northeast corner of Main and
Market streets. They were engaged in shipping the pro-
ducts of the country to New Orleans. In the Courier of
August, 1832, " this firm " advertised for a large number of
flat-boats, which they wished to purchase. Mr. D. D. Condit
of this firm, was born in Hanover, New Jersey, Oct. 21st,
1797. His father was a Presbyterian minister. On his
mother's side he was related to the Daytons of Revolution-
ary fame. He w^as educated in the parish schools, and then
learned the carriage making trade. He was employed at
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 147
once, however, by an uncle as clerk in a wholesale establish-
ment in the South. He engaged in the same business in
New York city before coming to Indiana in 1828. In 1831
he settled in Terra Haute with his family. Like others, his
intention was to invest in broad acres, but the river trade
to New Orleans was at its height, and hence his partnership
with Mr. Thompson. The firm was very prosperous till the
universal crash of 1837. After settling the business as best
he might, he fell back upon his trade. For some time he
resided with his family on a farm. Later in life he re-
engaged in store keeping with his son, J. D. Condit. Mr.
Condit was married to the half sister of Judge Blackford,
February 3rd, 1824. He died January 24th, 1877. His
remains were interred in Woodlawn Cemetery. J. D. Con-
dit came with his parents in 1831. He was born in Hanover,
New Jersey, Sept. 17th, 1825. He prepared for college at
the Provost High School. He attended Wabash College,
under the presidency of Dr. Charles White. He was engaged
in the dry goods business for a number of years. In 1863 he
removed to Indianapolis and afterwards to Chicago, Illinois.
He died in Chicago March 31st, 1900, at the advanced age
of seventy-five years. At his own request his remains
were brought to Terre Haute for interment.
From the above extended list of prominent pork mer-
chants and produce shippers we understand that Terre Haute
in an early day had an outlet to market on floating boats that
needed neither wheel or paddle to propel them. Add to this
that corn would grow on our prairie for the planting, and
hogs would fatten in the fields of corn with little or no care,
so that very soon our river front was lined with slaughter
and packing houses, and our streets in the fall and winter
with droves of hogs ; and we have some of the occasions
of the prosperity of early Terre Haute.
This last scene of droves of hogs spoken of was common,
and yet it was not a common scene. The unthinking surg-
ing mass were driven, they knew not where, but the drovers
knew, and took every precaution to carry out their purpose.
148 THE HISTORY OF
The headsman, either on horseback, or on foot, led the way
scattering corn, thus enticing the hogs to follow ; at the same
time uttering a country call that the pigs understood, but
a pencil cannot express in letters. Men were stationed on
either side at the crossings of the streets, and alley-ways, to
prevent the wayward from escaping. Then came the reg-
ular drovers with sticks urging the mass forward. Still be-
hind these, were two or more men, each havmg in charge
a very fat porker, who notwithstanding the most patient
urging, could not keep up with his fellows ; and would
sooner or later find a place in one of the wagons in the
rear, provided for such tired out stragglers. There may be
more excitement in witnessing the cowboys herding their
cattle on our Western prairies, and more sympathy evoked
in watching the California sheep herders driving their im-
mense flocks across the country, but for downright business
and scenic effect, our village street scene had its distinctive
characteristic and local interest.
The prosperity of Terre Haute as a village, and for many
years after it grew to be a city, was phenomenal ; and was
largely due to the pork trade. It is said for a time we were
in danger of losing our beautiful and appropriate name,
Prairie City ; and ever afterwards to be ridiculed under the
name of Hogopohs. But the decline of the pork traffic,
saved us from this ignominy. While railroads are chargeable
with the destruction of our river trade, yet the era of
railroads brought other elements of prosperity that com-
pensated a thousand fold for our seeming loss.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 49
TRADES AND TRADESMEN
Lawyers, merchants, doctors and preachers, are essen-
tial personages in the make-up of a prosperous village, but
they need to be preceded, or at least attended, by carpen-
ters, masons, blacksmiths, shoemakers and all manufactur-
ers, who make things with their own hands. Skilled work-
men cannot be dispensed with in the building up of a village.
It is noticeable in the history of a village, that whatever
there is of gradual growth, the blacksmith's shop comes first.
It is the center of industry and life. So the blacksmith by
common consent is the important man of the village. Clad in
heavy leathern apron, with brown arms bared to the elbows^
sturdy and strong, he is always a picturesque personage.
Especially is this true when with his great tongs he snatches
the burning iron from the forge, and places it on the anvil,
where now with heavy and now with light blows, he fashions
it at his will.
The man of to-day may congratulate himself, if in his boy-
hood, he was familiar with the night scenes at the village
blacksmith's shop. There was the lurid glare, the shower of
sparks, the sound of the anvil, which combmed made a
lasting impression upon the imagination. There was action,
harmony, and a veritable chorus, when the attendant with
sledge in hand dealt alternate strokes in perfect time, now
heavy, now light, and now desisting; all under the
magic leadership of the village smith. The music
always the same, but never twice alike by reason of the
abounding variety. Old as the most ancient forge and new
as the modern smithy, it had in it more of nature than of art.
This scene appealed to the genius of a Verdi, who by a some-
150 THE HISTORY OF
what successful imitation, has given to us his interpretation
of what he rightly calls : " The Anvil Chorus."
Our village possessed not a few of these smiters, or rather
smoothers of iron, as the original word means. They were
skilled workers, making with their own hands the horseshoe,
the plowshare ; also bolts, bands, chains, rings, hooks, plates,
and skeins, in a word all irons needful for a well finished
wagon ; besides any useful article in iron or steel could be
manufactured to order by this ingenious smith. Among the
many who had shops in the village I will mention only one.
The name of William Mars will be readily recalled by our
oldest citizens. He would hardly answer to the portraiture
as drawn by our poet Longfellow ; and yet he was a verita-
ble Village blacksmith. He was one of the first settlers in
the village. His log shop was the first of its kind in the
town. It was built on the northeast corner of First and
Poplar streets. Mr. Mars w^as short, heavy set, brusk, honest
and capable. In later life he always carried a walking stick,
an emblem of authority, as he was elected to the offtce of mar-
shal when the town was first incorporated in 1832. It is re-
corded that " Uncle Billy had a great contempt for writs,
summonses and mayor's courts, and did the whole of that
kind of business himself. He fined the man wherever he
found him ; and what was remarkable, there never was an
appeal taken from his judgment."
The wagon maker, as well as the blacksmith, was literally a
manufacturer. The wheels and gearings of a wagon
throughout, he fashioned by hand from the raw material.
It was a trade to which the candidate had to serve a regular
apprenticeship, beside having a natural tact in that direction.
To put up a wagon constructed in every part by hand, whose
wheels should have the right dish, and should play easily on
the arms of the axles, under the heaviest loads, required
knowledge and skill. This also may be said of the carpenter.
He must make his own doors, sash, blinds, and mantels.
True the rude cabin required no skill in the builder ; but soon
better houses were called for ; and some of the oldest resi-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 151
dences still standing in our city will show the skilled work
of the village carpenter. The palatial residence, as it was
called at the time of its construction, built by Mr. David
Linton, is a good example. As to the names of some of our
earliest carpenters the public records of 1818 show that
" Elisha Hovey, and John Bronklebank were allowed $300.00
part payment for building the Court House." The Court
House, however, was of brick, and there were residences as
well as business blocks of the same material soon to follow ;
and from whence were the brick to come ? The answer is at
hand ; as it is a well authenticated fact, that in an early day
the Ross Brothers made the brick of the town. There were
six of these brothers, who entered at once upon the manufac-
ture of brick. They continued together in the business for
some twenty years, when the partnership was dissolved, and
part of them engaged in merchandizing. The family came
from the State of New York. They were of Scotch descent,
and of Presbyterian birth. They came to Terre Haute in
1824, when there were about forty or fifty houses in the
In early days the brick yard was a place of activity and en-
terprise as well as of curiosity to the small boy. The process
of brick making was comparatively primitive and for that
reason more interesting. The work of tramping the clay by
horses in the long pits ; the moulding in the well
soaked and sanded boxes, which were divided into six sections
corresponding to the size of the brick intended ; the carrying
off and depositing the contents of these boxes on the sanded
yard, to be dried in the sun ; the careful placing the now suiv
dried brick in the kiln for burning; and the opening up of
these kilns after fifteen or twenty days, and loading the brick
into wagons for delivery in the town ; constituted a unique
scene of early enterprise and industry. For the above
particulars I am indebted to my friend, ]\Ir. John Ross, a
veteran brickmaker of our city.
There was a very early call for brick masons in the village,
as the Court House w^as begun in 1818. From the old records
152 THE HISTORY OF
we learn that on " May 13, 1818, William Durham was al-
lowed $400.00 in part payment for Ijuilding the walls of the
Court House." The building was not completed till 1822.
In 1827, Lucius H. Scott erected the first brick building in
Perhaps in the early settlement of our town no State con-
tributed to the list of our tradesmen so liberally, as the little
State of New Jersey. This was true, in almost every line of
industry ; and especially in brick laying, and plastering.
There are several names deserving of mention, and all hailing
from New Jersey; but perhaps !\Ir. Zenas Smith was the
earliest on the ground. He was born in ]\Iorristown, New
Jersey, in 1796. He came to Terre Haute in the spring of
1 83 1. He died at the advanced age of eighty-one years. It
has been well said of Mr. Smith that " his reputation for
honesty and integrity was unquestioned." He was a man of
positive convictions, and bore the stigm.a of being a cold
water man. But to his credit be it said, not a few of his
workmen bore testimony of his helpfulness in this regard.
Like every cunning artificer in iron, wood, or clay the mill-
wright was a necessity in the very beginning of the building
of the village. Before his coming the corn and wheat were
pounded in mortars, or taken to some distant mill to be
ground. Sometimes the millwright was called a wheel-
wright, for while the ordinary carpenter could construct the
building for the mill, there must needs be the skill of the
wheelwright, to make and put in machinery. The man and
his wooden wheels are things of the past ; but in those days
they were an absolute necessity. The word wheelwright is
quite obsolete. It once meant a wagon maker or any worker
in wood, who manufactured wheels ; but in pioneer days, it
was limited to the building of mills. And now though su-
perseded by the machinist, this primitive man as a promoter
of power once had his place. There were millwrights and
mill builders, but among the very earliest was J\Ir. Joshua
Olds, who came in 1816. He was a native of Massachusetts,
but came with his familv from the State of New York. He
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 153
built the first mill in this region known as ]\Iarkle's mill, on
Otter creek ; also the Rose mill at Roseville. The Olds's
family did not reside in the limits of the village, yet his skill
and work were of the utmost importance to the well being of
the town and country. He died at Montezuma in 1848.
The shoemaker's shop, though small, with its little tin sign,
was a representative of one of the chief industries of the town.
But before the shoemaker there must be the leather maker,
that is the tanner. Hides and pelts abound in the greatest
variety ; and the oak trees in our forests, with their thick bark
stood ready to furnish the required tannin. In a word the
raw materials awaited the coming of the man, who should
possess the requisite knowledge and skill to produce soft and
pliable leather. As I remember there were two tan yards in
the village, in an early day, one of which was in the north,
and the other in the south part of the town, owned re-
spectively by Air. Hussey and ]\Ir. ]\Ic]\Iurrain.
Among our first shoemakers, there were doubtless cobblers,
who were adapted to the task of making and repairing the
coarse stogy boot ; so there were skillful craftsmen, who could
make the delicate slipper, and a boot of the latest style. His
shop was small, but it stood as a representative of one of the
leading industries of the town. Early and late he sat on his
bench plying his w^axed ends with their bristle tips ; or rapidly
driving the little shoe peg home by a single stroke. Wedded
to his trade, happy and contented with his work, respected b}
his neighbors, he was a useful man in society, and his lot was
an enviable one. I remember one such man at least, and his
name was Thomas Desart. He came from the State of New
Jersey ; and was among our oldest citizens. He w^as one of
the first deacons in the Congregational Church. He lived
to the advanced age of seventy-six years; and was always
held in the highest esteem by his friends for integrity of
character. ^Iv. Desart died at Brazil, Indiana, in 1875,
having removed thither a few years before his death.
One of the most enterprising and noisy trades in the village
was the coopering business. For large shop room, piles of
154 THE HISTORY OF
Staves, and hoop poles, great heaps of shavings, and day and
night poundings, the coopershop could scarcely be excelled.
If the workman is known 'by his chips, then the cooper was
a grand worker, for the heaps of shavings, especially when
fared at night, bore unexampled testimony. The enterprising
pork trade, and, shall 1 add, whisky trade also, created large
demands for oaken kegs and barrels of the best workmanship.
Jabez Casto was one among our village coopers. He was a
tall, well proportioned, broad shouldered man, with an un-
sullied reputation for honest and upright dealing. He came
from Pennsylvania by the way of Ohio to this country in
1829. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. After 1852 he en-
gaged in the farming and milling business. " He died here
The butcher's trade was early represented in our town.
Doubtless at first the butcher peddled his wares ; but a mar-
ket house was among our first public buildings. The build-
ing was located at the intersection of Ohio and Market
streets. Each butcher in clean white apron had his stall, with
its long bench for a counter, and a big round block for cutting
and chopping his meat. On market mornings the interior
of the building and especially the stalls were well lighted
with great lamps with their reflectors. Market mornings
came three times a week ; and began even before the break-
ing of the day ; so that the villager with his market basket on
his arm, could be seen winding his way in the early gray of
the morning to the town market, where the best cut was
served to the first comer. Farmers improved these market
days by being present with vegetables and fruits. Before
returning home therefore each villager had his basket well
stored with provisions as fresh as the crisp air of the early
I will mention but one other leading industry of the town
which is that of the hat maker. It must have been a prom-
ising business, as several hat shops were opened very early
in the history of the town. Robert S. ]\IcCabe was a promi-
nent hatter ; so was Robert Brasher. As head gear, a hat
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 155
once out of style, is simply comic. \\'hether the crown is
high or low, the brim broad or narrow ; or whether the hat is
of the stove pipe, or slouch variety ; the effect is the same.
The thing is sutterable only on the ground that it is fashiona-
ble, or at least not altogether out of style. A copy of the
Western Register, dated 1835, lies before me, with a hatter's
illustrated advertisement. The hat of that day as here rep-
resented, is bell shaped as to the crown ; and broad as to the
brim. Another picture of a hat worn a few years later,
shows an extra tall small crown, straight as a stove pipe, with
a very narrow brim. But sufifer an excerpt from a descrip-
tion written by one who had been in these shops, and was ac-
quainted with the proprietors. With this I close this chap-
ter. From the style, the author will be recognized as Capt.
Earle. " ]\Ir. Robert Brasher was a hatter by trade, and
was one of those good, pious quiet Christians inside and out,
that we read of, but seldom see. He was a tall, spare man,
and the veins on the back of his hands were very large. He
made excellent hats with three trifling faults, viz. : uncouth
in shape, too soft in body, and altogether too durable. I
used to delight in the snap, snap, snapping, and in the twang,
twang, twanging, of that long bow of his, as he beat up his
156 TPIE HISTORY OF
MONEY, BANKS AND BANKERS
By money we understand legally authorized coin, or paper,
to be used as a medium of exchange. In general it may
mean any article adopted by legal authority, as a convenient
substitute for coin or bank notes. It is said before the Revo-
lutionary war, in Virginia, and in Maryland, tobacco was
used as such a substitute. Salaries of public officers, and
taxes also were made payable in tobacco. Without any legal
authority, but by mutual consent, coon, muskrat, and other
fur skins; also corn, wheat flour, whiskey, tallow, and other
like articles were taken in payment of debts, and used in the
absence of coin or bank notes. By way of confirmation, and
as a matter of curiosity, I insert the following notice from
the Western Register, dated February i8th, 1830, it is signed
by the editor, and by way of emphasis he does not spare capi-
tals. It reads : " Good Flour, Whiskey, Corn, Wheat, Tallow,
Beeswax, Clean Linen and Cotton Rags will be received for
debts due this office, until the first day of April. After that
cash will be expected from all whom subscriptions com-
menced with, or before the first No. of the Sixth Vol. of the
Register." In the same issue, salt is advertised for sale at
cash prices, for which pork and whiskey will be accepted in
exchange. Again a dry goods merchant says : for all debts
due him, he will accept in payment deer skins, feathers, tal-
low, besides other such like articles. In small traffic this mode
of exchange as mutually convenient could be managed, but
for larger transactions money was a matter of necessity. We
are not surprised therefore to learn, that while as yet In.diana
was a territory, there was a loud demand for the organization
EARLY TERRE HAUTE I57
Brief mention only can be made here of the first banks es-
tablished. The story is a sad one and constitutes a long
chapter in the early struggles of our State. It would seem
that mismanagement and abuse, financial folly and madness,
unlimited inflation, and reckless speculation joined hands^
and each strengthened the hands of the other. It was busi-
ness for the banks to print, sign, and loan their notes. It was
business for the speculator to borrow and invest his money
in enterprises great and small. The risk of going beyond
one's depth, and the certainty of a day of reckoning, did not
seemingly enter into the mind of either the one or the other.
The beginning of this condition of affairs was in 1817,
when in accordance with the act of the First Constitutional
Convention, the bank of V^incennes was adopted by the leg-
islature of Indiana as a State bank. Several branches were
also established. It was not long however before serious
charges of fraud and mismanagement were brought, and the
result was that the notes of the State bank and its branches,
" except those of the Bank of Madison became wholly
worthless." On account of these financial troubles as well as
others, the years 1821, 1822 and 1823 are pointed out as bad
years for Indiana.
The State however weathered the storm, and in 1832, by
reason of internal improvements and the flow of population,
bright prospects were opened up for the immediate future.
Consequently there was a pressing demand for a legal cur-
rency which was possible only through the organization of a
State bank. In 1834 therefore the legislature chartered the
State Bank of Indiana. The charter was to run twenty-five
years. Branches of the Bank were established and " were to
be mutually responsible for the redemption of all bills issued ;
but each bank was to have its own profits." Among other
wise provisions of the charter, " the bank was not at any time
to suspend specie payment." Too much praise cannot be
bestowed upon the prime movers of this charter, neither upon
the State bank officials for their carefulness and financial
abilitv in the management of the affairs of the Bank.
THE HISTORY OF
By such management the Bank became a blessing and an
honor to Indiana, giving her a reputation throughout the
country and even abroad ; as it is stated that Indiana lionds
at this time sold at a premium in London. It is a familiar
fact and one that should be generally known that " no bank
in the country was ever more carefully conducted or more
uniformly successful in its operations than the State Bank of
OLD STATE BANK, 1834
Indiana." I quote this the more readily, as it literally applies
to the standing, conduct and management of our own Terre
Haute Branch I'ank.
In 1834 the Terre Haute Branch Bank was organized with
the followmg directors: Demas Deming, Chauncey Rose,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 59
Curtis Gilbert, J. Sunderland, J. D. Early, James B. AlcCall,
David Linton, and Samuel Crawford. Demas Deming was
chosen president, and James Farrington cashier. In due time
the bank was comfortably ensconced in a stately building
erected for its accommodation on the south side of Ohio, be-
tween Second and Third streets. Its tall massive columns
supporting a plain entablature, made an imposing front
porch, which at that early day gave to the building quite an
architectural appearance. Mr. Edwin J. Peck, who was after-
wards president of what is now the Vandalia R. R., superin-
tended the construction of the building, as he did also the
bank buildings at Aladison, Lafayette and South Bend.
It was a period of almost unexampled prosperity through-
out the whole country. There was no end to the building
of railroads, canals, plank roads ; but by a gross perversion
this prosperity stimulated reckless speculation. Eastern
banks were soon in the throes of convulsions, and closed their
doors. As banks could not meet their financial obligations,
neither could business firms, nor individuals. This was the
crash of 1837 that wrought wreck and ruin throughout the
land. Though on a firm and safe basis the State bank and
our Branch bank suspended for over a year, and then re-
sumed specie payment. To the honor of the management,
when our Branch bank wound up its business, it met every
demand by paying dollar for dollar. The same was true of
the ]\Iother bank ; and yet the storm continued. The State
could not borrow money to meet its obligations. In 1839,
the legislature in seeking temporary relief authorized the
issue of State scrip. This made bad worse. These were days
of Red-dog, Blue-pup, Wild cat and Shin plaster currency.
Notwithstanding the fearful mixing of politics and finances,
and the chartering of a new bank, to be called the Bank of
the State, all of which in the eyes of many, threatened the
absolute ruin of the commonwealth ; yet through the level
heads of a few financiers, the newly organized bank under the
special control of Hon. Hugh McCulloch " entered upon a
career of high honor."
l6o THE HISTORY OF
As a matter of personal gratification I would gladly speak
at length of some of the men, who have nohly sustained the
solid reputation of our city banks, but our limit forbids. I
refer to such life long Terre Haute bankers as Mr. Preston
Hussey, whose career began very early in the Old State bank,
and who occupies to-day a position held for years, as presi-
dent of the Terre Haute National State Bank; Mr. W. R.
McKeen, who also began his career in the Old State bank,
and after some years organized what has been known since
1855, as the McKeen Bros. Bank; and Demas Deming,
whose father was the first president of the Old State bank,
and from whom he inherited the taste and gift for banking
business, has been a bank president from almost his youth
up, and enjoys a well earned reputation as an able financier.
To go back to village days in 1839, John H. Watson estab-
lished the first private bank in Terre Haute. The issues of
this bank were known as " Watson's notes." In the great
scarcity of a circulating medium, these notes were highly ap-
preciated. Mr. Watson's honesty and credit were unques-
tioned ; and hence his notes passed current in the community.
Judge Watson provided in his will for the redemption of all
his outstanding paper. After his death the bank was con-
ducted on the same foundation, and commanded the same
confidence as in the days of Judge Watson, by Mr. Patrick
Shannon. This copartnership was entered into in 1856, and
continued till i860, wdien Mr. Watson retired.
The Old State bank building, which for so many years
housed our Branch bank, served its day, and served it well ;
and now stands as a venerable landmark of early village
days. For some years it was occupied as a family residence,
then as a piano store ; but later it was transformed into a ver-
itable Museum, or Old Curiosity shop. Mr. Zebulon Heaber-
lin is the proprietor. His ideal is that his collection shall com-
prise anything and everything that bears the mark of age.
An old musket is the more highly valued for its broken fire
lock; and a primitive spinning wheel, if by age it has lost its
power to spin is thereby the more highly prized. No matter
EARLY TERRE HAUTE l6l
how common an article, and rude its make, as a relic it has a
story to tell, and in this lies its charm. Incidentally however,
the junk-shop element, that is the possibility of the useful-
ness of an article, though discarded by its owner, is not lost
sight of. Therefore, whatsoever things are useful, though
discarded by their owners, or whatsoever things bear the
marks of age, or emit the delicate smell of antiquity, find a
welcome place in this collection.
A single word in regard to money. In pioneer days where
did our money come from ? I answer first, much was brought
by permanent settlers for the purpose of purchasing lands.
Then the paying off the soldiers of 1812 by the Government
distributed no little money through the country. Again in
prosecuting the river trade with New Orleans, our merchant
shippers brought home literally bags of Spanish gold and
silver; and not infrequently these bags were the long woolen
stockings of the merchant such as were commonly worn in
those days. Then in the flourishing days of the pork trade,
Eastern capitalists were quite willing to advance money
for investment. Notwithstanding all these sources, money
Avas scarce and as a resort Bank notes and State scrip vrere
used as substitutes. Naturally enough these substitutes drove
into hiding whatever of gold and silver there was in the banks,
or in the hands of the people ; but still our trade demanded,
and our banks on demand paid out, specie. Every business
house had its cash drawer, and every man provided his
pocket with a strong and long leathern purse to hold his cash.
In these latter days we speak of dollars, dimes, and nickels ;
but in village days we talked dollars, bits, fippenny bits, and
for short, bits and fips. The bit was equal to twelve and half
cents, or a Spanish real ; and the fippenny bit was worth six
and a fourth cents. Many not liking the trade lingo, spoke of
shillings one, two, three, and so up to eight, which constituted
a dollar; or reckoned their change as I2|^^, 37^, 62^ and 87^
cents ; but for short on the street it was a bit, two bits, three
bits, five and so on to eight bits. There were big copper
cents in circulation, but they were not much in demand.
l62 THE HISTORY OF
Their value was so small, that the small boy even refused to
load his pocket with them. The lip he did not despise as he
could buy a dozen black marbles with it ; but at best it was
only a trifling picayune, and he cared little for it ; but with
two bits in his pocket, he was ready to take in the glories of
the Fourth of July, or go with his father or big brother for a
day, at the Fall or Spring races.
It is here that our broad acres with their generous yield of
fruits and grain exerted a broadening influence upon the
minds and characters of men. In dealing, they never stood
upon five cents in change. In early days picayunish men
were scarce. No man cared to have his character estimated
by so small a standard of value.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 163
FIRES AND FIRE COMPANIES
In the early history of our village, the first organization
of a fire company was in a sense no organization, that is, the
\'illage Bucket-line brigade was a voluntary aflfair. By com-
mon consent every villager, old and young, was a member.
Next to the ringing of the bell of the public crier, and his
loud cry ; a child lost ! nothing appealed to the sympathies of
the community so strongly, as the midnight cry of, fire ! fire !
fire ! The words were taken up by every villager as he issued
from his gate, bucket in hand, on the run, guided by the light
of the blazing building. At the fire every man was his own
chief, and with a quick eye was called to see, and to do, the
most needful thing. So each one quietly found his place
either in rescuing the sick and helpless ; in carrying out furni-
ture ; in manning the pumps or wells ; in falling into lines for
passing the full buckets of water and returning the empty
ones, to be again refilled ; or it may be in standing upon the
roof and fighting the flames with the buckets of water as they
were passed up to him. The fiercer the fire the harder the
fight, in which every volunteer was enthusiastic ; knowing
that his work was important though his place was only in
the bucket line. This Village Bucket-line brigade held sway
till 1838 ; when by action of the Common council the first
hand engine was purchased. This was a real live engine ; and
was named the Hoosier. Though but a hand engine, to be
worked and pulled by hand, yet it was worthy of having a
house and a special keeper in the person of Thomas Hough-
ton. The same year the Common council appointed the
following fire wardens ; " First ward. John Crawford ; Second
ward, Zenas Smith ; Third ward, Thomas Houghton ; Fourth
164 THE HISTORY OF
ward, John S. Burget ; Fifth ward, Thomas C. Clayton.
These gentlemen were appointed to hold office for five
In 1839, the Council ordered the following premiums to be
awarded ; For the first hogshead of water delivered at the
fire, three dollars ; for the second, two dollars ; and for the
third, one dollar ; and after that, for every hogshead, till the
lire was extinguished, twenty-five cents. Mr. H. C. Bradsby,
to whom we are largely indebted for the leading facts re-
specting the village fire department, says in his History of
Vigo county : " When a fire alarm came every drayman in
town started on a mad race to the fire ; but first it was helter
skelter for the river, where his hogshead was quickly filled.
It was a wild and exciting scramble of odd looking men, and
old drays, and spavined horses." He describes a drawing by
John B. Hager made over sixty years ago, in which drayman
Foreman is in the lead, with his dray tipping, and his hogs-
head spilling its water. He is closely followed by Sam Earle.
Old Lot, the colored drayman, is hard after them with m.ule
and whip. Altogether it is an animated scene.
The Council is now more than persuaded, that the time has
come to spend some money for protection against fires ; and
so following up the purchase of an engine, they ordered in
Jan. 1840, an appropriation of three hundred dollars for the
construction of a public cistern in each ward. A full outfit
for a hook and ladder company w'as purchased, and the fol-
lowing gentlemen organized themselves into such a com-
pany ; T. A. Madison, foreman ; John Crawford and A. L.
Chamberlain, laddermen ; F. McGrew and James Hook, ax-
men ; John Warner and P. H. Hardy, bookmen ; Zenas Smith
and R. ]\Iiner, ropemen ; John O'Brien and Alahlon Newman,
pikemen ; William Ramage, steward ; William Porterfield,
secretary ; and John Crawford, treasurer.
The first engine company was organized with Samuel
Crawford, captain ; Jonas Seely, first lieutenant ; Noah Bey-
mer, second lieutenant; Rufus St. John, third lieutenant;
Samuel Musselman, fourth lieutenant ; Stephen Stratton, en-
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
gineer ; and H. Fairbanks, treasurer. " On the rolls of the
company appeared the names of such men as Alessrs. Jacob
D. Early, John Dowling, Wait Williams, George C. Warren,
Joseph Graft, Z. C. Hovey, Thomas Parsons, J. O. Jones,
Richard Blake, H. Fairbanks, D. S. Danaldson, Alexander
McGregor, L. G. Warren, James Farrington. Tom Dowling,
Rufus St. John, H. Westfall, Curtis Gilbert, L. Surrell, and
OLD VIGO FIRE EXGIXE
" In February, 1840, fire guards were appointed and in
pursuance of the order regulating the same, organ-
ized themselves into a company, with Demas Dem-
ing, captain ; James Wasson, first assistant ; Thomas H.
Blake, second assistant; Joseph Cooper, third assistant; and
1 66 THE HISTORY OF
Chauncey Rose, fourth assistant." All the above rosters de-
serve special mention as showing that the town was wide
awake in the way of fire organizations, and that our most in-
fluential citizens stood ready to take an active part. It will
be noted that these companies were made up of volunteers,
and that these organizations were the foundations of the Old
Volunteer Fire Department.
The first hand engine, as intimated above, was purchased
by order of the Common council in 1838. It was manufac-
tured by Messrs. Merrick and Agnew, of Philadelphia. The
price paid was $511. It was named the Old Hoosier. It did
good service for a number of years, till it was literally worn
out, when it was taken to the Wallace foundry on First and
Wabash streets to be remodelled. When repaired, the name
was changed to the Deluge. After the purchase of Vigo No.
2, and the Mohawk, this engine was stationed at the engine
house on North Lafayette street, and renamed the Northern
Liberty. This our first engine was sold by Fire Chief J. D.
Bell to parties in Litchfield, Illinois. As yet its whereabouts
is unknown, although the newly organized Old Volunteer
Firemen's Association have made diligent inquiries for it.
The second engine, the Old Vigo, was bought in 1855 from
a manufacturing company in Boston, Massachusetts. The
price paid was $701 and with other accessories the bill
amounted to $1,100. It was stationed at the engine house on
South Fourth street. The engine remained in Terre Haute
till 1867, when it was sold to the town of Jasper, Indiana,
where it remained till 1898, at which time it was repurchased
by the firm of D. W. Watson Sons of our city, and brought
back to Terre Haute.
The Terre Haute Evening Gazette had a photograph taken
of this engine, and a copy of the same appeared in its issue of
July I, 1899, in an illustrated article on the history of the
Old Volunteer Firemen's Association. To this article I am
glad to acknowledge my indebtedness for some important
facts rendered in this chapter. As a reminder of old times,
and as a kindler of enthusiasm, this engine since its return,
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 67
has been a success. Funds were raised by subscription
among the members of the above association, and the engine
was purchased from the Watson Sons. The members of the
association are proud of their pet, and stand ready to fall into
line with it, on all grand street parades. It is at present
housed for safe keeping in the basement of the Court house.
The third engine was the Mohawk, purchased in 1857. It
was a double decker. It was stationed at the engine house
on South Fourth street. After years of service it was sold
to the town of Litchfield, Illinois. All effort to learn of its
whereabouts as yet have proved in vain.
The fourth engine owned by the city, the Northern Lib-
erty, was bought in 1858, at a cost of $1,337. " This was the
first of piano box engines and the most powerful water
thrower of all the hand engines used in Terre Haute." It
was sold to the town of Crawfordsville, Ind., where 'it re-
m.ained for three or four years ; when it was sold to some
town in Illinois.
The fifth and sixth engines were ordered to be purchased
in December, 1869. They were similar to the Northern Lib-
er':y. Each one cost $1,250. They were named respectively,
Niagara No. i, and Vigo No. 2. The Niagara was sold to
Crawfordsville and Vigo No. 2 to the town of Effingham,
Illinois. These engines were all hand engines. The double
deckers were worked by sixteen men, eight on top, and eight
on the ground, that is at each end. The piano box style was
fitted with side breaks, and worked by ten men on each
side. For much of the above information I am indebted to
Mr. F. H. Spicer, who was at one time a member of the Old
Volunteer Firemen's Association.
Like all other great enterprises of our city, the real history
of our present Terre Haute Fire Department, began after
1840 or 1850, and yet the Old Bucket-line brigade, that did
such good service for so many years, and the Old Volunteer
Fire Company, must lie at the foundation of this history,
and will possess an element of interest that will grow with
the city's growth.
l68 THE HISTORY OF
It would seem that the stick chimney and the great fire
places of the early cabin would have been conducive to fre-
quent fires ; also the tallow candle fixed in a socket composed
of three nails m a board, for a holder, or in hot tallow dropped
on the corner of the table, desk or sill of the window, which
when cool held the candle firm, would have proved still more
dangerous, as they were everywhere present in workshops,
school-houses, and especially in the Old Court House.
It was an almost unheard of thing, however, for fires to
originate under either of the above circumstances. And yet
there were fires and fires from the first ; and they became
more frequent after the introduction of imperfect flues,
stoves, and explosive lamps. The burning of Air. Hager's
distillery, south of the towai, near the river, will not be for-
gotten by those who witnessed the raging colored flames as
they mounted up into the dark sky. There was another dis-
tillery owned by John F. King, located northeast of the town,
which was completely destroyed by fire. One of the first fires
recalled by our early villagers was " the burning of the store
of Stephen P. Cammack on the northwest corner of First and
Walnut streets." Still another mentioned by the same person
was, " a cooper shop on Cherry, between Third and Fourth
streets, owned by ]\Iontgomery Francis."
The Old Bucket-line Brigade was not able, neither was the
Old Volunteer Engine companies, to cope with the largest
fires, but in their day, they were efficient, and for their suc-
cess and good work let them ever be remembered.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 69
CAXAL, NATIOXAL ROAD AXD RAILROAD
The agitation in regard to internal improvements, began
previous to 1825. The necessity for a market for the pro-
ductions of the country, other than by our waterway, to the
South was reaHzed by the people, and pressed upon Congress
as well as upon our State legislature. In 1824, Thomas H.
Blake, our representative in the State legislature, introduced
the first measure looking to the building of the Wabash and
Erie canal. Congress, in 1827, made large grants of land
to aid in the construction of this same canal.
From a speech delivered in Congress by John Test, of
Indiana, printed in the Western Register, Terre Haute, under
date of Feb. 18, 1830, we gather that our congressmen were
urgent, that the interest of the West must not be overlooked
in the matter of distributing money for internal improve-
ments. The arguments of Mr. Test have a zealous ring. In
1832 contracts were let for the building of the canal, and till
its completion the work was pushed. In 1843 it was finished
in part and in 1850 it was completed and the water turned on.
It was a time of rejoicing, when the first canal boat arrived
through the Wabash and Erie canal at our town. In 1852
the whole line to Evansville was opened up. The day how-
ever for canals had passed. Railroads were uppermost in
the minds of progressive citizens. The canal enterprise lasted
but about ten years. During this period it brought pros-
perity to the town if not to the stockholders. After it was
abandoned some of our enterprising citizens made an effort
to keep boats running to Worthington, for the sake of trade,
but this was given up In about two years.
There were many engineers attracted to Indiana by the ex-
lyo THE HISTORY OF
tensive system of internal improvements upon which the State
had entered. There was one who deserves special mention, who
came to Terre Haute to found a permanent home, and this
was Mr. William J. Ball, who came in 1833. and was soon en-
gaged as the chief engineer in the building- the Wabash and
Erie canal. And in due time he earned " The high reputation
as one of the most accomplished officers in the service of the
State." On the transfer of the management of the canal
from the State to trustees. ^Ir. Ball, in 1847, was appomted
as resident engineer to the active duty of superintending the
construction, from Coal Creek to Evansville. In 1850 he be-
came chief engineer of the Evansville and Crawfordsville
Railroad. For several years he was connected with Railroad
enterprises ; and in all the responsible positions in which he
was placed, he added to his reputation as a faithful public
Mr. Ball was a native of Ohio. " In 1842 he was married
to Miss Julia Creighton, daughter of Hon. William Creigh-
ton, member of Congress from the Chillicothe district in
Ohio." In the esteem of her friends she w^as possessed of
superior qualities of mind and heart. Her memory is held very
dear by her immediate friends and especially by her surviving
children. Among these are Messrs. William C. and Spencer
F. Ball, the successful editors of the Terre Haute Gazette.
]\Ir. W. J. Ball, the subject of this short sketch, was of
Quaker lineage, and " held always to that beautiful and
simple faith." He was a man of culture and natural refine-
ment. Mr. Ball was born at Waterford, Loudon county,
A^irginia, January ist, 18 14, and died at his home in Terre
Haute April 20. 1874.
Prominent in the history of internal improvements, was
the building of the National road. Early in the century the
General government agitated the building of a grand
thoroughfare connecting the city of Baltimore with the ]\Iis-
sissippi river. At that early day it was an enterprise worthy
of the Government. Indiana was alert to the advantages that
would accrue to her citizens ; and Terre Haute as before in-
EARLY TERRE HAUTl?
timated, was inspired with new life and energy. In 1834, a
force of worl<men began the construction of the road through
Vigo county. The roadbed was thrown up, stone culverts
built, bridges erected, all of which meant much for our
county and town as well as for the State. Heaps of stone were
brought to the bank of our river, for the building of a bridge ;
but the bridge was never built.
Enterprising men, not a few, flocked into Indiana by
reason of the building of this road ; but we here point to a
single individual in the person of Charles Wood as most
worthy of mention. He came here in company with Major
Ogden of the United States army, who was the Government
superintendent. Air. Wood was taken into his ofBce, a posi-
tion he held till the work on the road was abandoned. He
afterwards became one among the first organizers of the
Terre Haute and Richmond railroad. He was elected secre-
tary of the first board of trustees and held his position till
his death. Mr. Charles Wood was the son of an honored
mother, Mrs. Charlotte Wood, who came with her family to
Terre Haute in 1835. Mr. Wood was a gentleman of the old
school, friendly but dignified. He was born in the city of
Baltimore, in November, 1810, and died at his home in Terre
Haute in June, 1866, leaving behind him a large circle of
relatives and friends to mourn his loss.
The prosperous outcome of Terre Haute as a village can
scarcely be understood without some knowledge of the build-
ing of the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad. It was con-
ceived in the mind of Chauncey Rose, and carried forward to
completion by his indefatigable zeal. In this, as in his other
enterprises. i\Ir. Rose associated with himself competent ad-
visers and helpers. One such person was Air. John Brough,
who had been successful in the management of the Madison
and Indianapolis Railroad. Another, was Charles R. Peddle.
Before coming to Indiana, Mr. Peddle held a responsible
position in the Railroad shops at Reading. Pennsylvania ;
and previous to his coming to Terre Haute, he had a similar
position at Madison. Indiana. Air. Peddle was a young man,
172 THE HISTORY UF
and proved to have the knowledge and push that suited Mr.
Rose. They went at once to Boston, to buy four engines.
The responsibihty of the purchase and transportation, was
put upon Mr. Peddle. In that early day the matter of trans-
portation, of such heavy freight, was no easy task. Sometimes
the engines had to be pulled over bridges, through the streets
of cities, and loaded into Lake vessels. " At Toledo two canal
boats were brought into the service, and two engines put into
veach boat." One of the boats came directly through to Terre
Haute, the other went by way of Cincinnati, and Madison,
The road was completed in 1852. Mr. Rose was its first
president. William Baugh its first engineer ; Mr. John Scott
was its first treasurer ; and Mr. Sylvester Huestis was its first
superintendent. Mr. Huestis w'as the father of Mr. Ed.
Huestis, who has held for years a responsible position
on this road notwithstanding the many changes in its man-
agement. Upon Mr. Rose's resignation, Samuel Crawford
succeeded him as president till 1857, when he in turn, was
succeeded by Mr. Edwin J. Peck.
Mr. Peddle was born in Philadelphia in 1819. He con-
tinued in the service of the road in various capacities till his
death, which occurred at his home in Terre Haute in 1893,
leaving to his widow and surviving children, an honored and
spotless name. Mr. Peddle was married to Miss Mary Ball,
daughter of Dr. E. V. Ball, and granddaughter of Mr. Joseph
Richardson, who with his family were among the earliest
pioneers and occupants of Fort Harrison.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 73
EARLY POETS AND POETRY
George Washington Cutter came to Terre Haute while
yet a young man. He was related to the family of our
pioneer editor, John W. Osborn. Air. Cutter studied law in
the office of Judge Amory Kinney. He was elected as a
member of our State legislature, before removing to Cov-
ington, Kentucky; where he again took up the practice of
law. He served in the war with Mexico; and afterwards
became a Treasury clerk in Washington city. It is an un-
pleasant task to record that the career of George W. Cutter
was a sad one. Few young men start in life with such bright
prospects. His memory is still cherished in Terre Haute, as
he was while here, a young man of promise, of high ideals
and of noble purposes. After he left us, however, " his pros-
pects were blighted and his last years rendered miserable
by intemperance." But we have learned to separate between
the man and the drink ; to love the one and hate the other.
We have but to read Mr. Cutter's poems to learn the nobility
and generosity of the man ; and although his life was bitter,
yet not a word of complaint escapes his pen.
George W. Cutter, by profession was a lawyer, by birth a
poet. His poems were printed in book form under the title
of Buena Vista and Other Poems, by Morgan and Overend,
Cincinnati, 1848. In the preface, by the way of apology, for
publishing his work, he says : " In the first place, my vanity
was somewhat excited by the very favorable and flattering
impression some of these poems have made, not only on the
minds of my distinguished countrymen, but also in the very
highest literary circles in Europe." Another consideration
he says was this; " When about to leave the country fof the
J74 THE HISTORY OF
seat of war, in Mexico, flattered by the kind expressions of
my friends, I believed the pubhcation might be of some
pecuniary benefit to my wife during my absence." He further
adds : " From various causes the pubhcation was delayed till
my return ; but this, however, enabled me to add the poem of
Buena \'ista, to the former collection."
Mr. Cutter was not a man of one poem, and so an apparent
injustice may be done by ofliering but a single illustration
of his work. The Song of Steam, however, which is inserted
below, must ever form the key of the poetical arch that shall
commemorate his memory as a poet. There is no need to
speak of the poetic grasp of its conception, neither of its
vigorous tone, and happy expression ; for left to itself it will
speak for itself.
It may not be known to many of the old friends of Mr.
Cutter, that he put forth a second edition of his book, en-
larged by the addition of several new pieces, bearing the title
of Poems National and Patriotic, Philadelphia, 1857. ^^
which time a competent and appreciative critic wrote : " The
finest of his compositions is The Song of Steam, which is
worthy of the praise it has received, of being one of the best
lyrics of the century. The Song of Lightning, written more
recently, is perhaps next to it in merit." I give below The
Song of Steam with only two or three stanzas omitted.
THE SONG OF STEAM
Harness me down with your iron bands,
Be sure of your curb and rein ;
For I scorn the power of your puny hands,
As the tempest scorns a chain.
How I laughed as I lay concealed from sight,
For many a countless hour.
At the childish boast of human might,
And the pride of human power.
When I saw an army upon the land,
A navy upon the seas.
Creeping along, a snail-like band,
Or waiting the wayward breeze;
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 75
When I marked the peasant faintly reel
With the toil which he daily bore,
As he feebly turned the tardy wheel.
Or tugged at the weary oar ; —
V/hen I measured the panting courser's speed,
The flight of the courier dove —
As they bore the law, a king decreed.
Or the lines of impatient love —
I could not but think how the world would feel.
As these were outstripped afar,
When I should be bound to the rushing keel,
Or chained to the flying car.
In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine,
My tireless arm doth play,
Where the rocks never saw the sun decline,
On the dawn of the glorious day.
I bring earth's glittering jewels up
From the hidden cave below,
And I make the fountain's granite cup
With a crystal gush o'erflow.
I blow the bellows, I forge the steel.
In all the shops of trade;
I hammer the ore and turn the wheel.
Where my arms of strength are made;
I manage the furnace, the mill, the mint;
I carry, I spin, I weave;
And all my doings I put into print,
On every Saturday eve.
I've no muscle to weary, no breast to decay,
No bones to be " laid on the shelf."
And soon I intend you may " go and play,"
While I manage this world myself.
176 THE HISTORY OF
But harness me down with your iron bands,
Be sure of your curb and rein ;
For I scorn the strength of your puny hands,
As the tempest scorns a chain.
Mrs. Persis Jones was born in the eastern part of New
York, January 17th, 1820. While yet a child she was brought
to Terre Haute. She was married, January 26, 1844, to Mr,
J. O. Jones, who served our town as Post-master under four
presidents. Mr. and Mrs. Jones celebrated the fifty-second
anniversary of their wedding on January 26th, 1896. Al-
ways a home keeper, Mrs. Jones bestowed her first thoughts
upon her family ; and yet she found time to gratify a literary
taste for poetical composition. In 1874, she was chosen a
member of the Rose Ladies Aid Society, where she has been
active in promoting the beneficent ends and purposes of the
society. At the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary,
Mrs. Jones read by request, an historical poem, which is a
good illustration of her work in this line. After devoting sev-
eral stanzas to the origin of the Society at the time of the
breaking out of the Civil war, setting forth the activities of
the ladies in raising and dispensing funds for the relief of the
families of soldiers, also their work in the hospitals ; she goes
on to tell how their success up to the close of the war, pointed
to the continuance of their efiforts in behalf of the worthy
poor of the city. She emphasizes the fact, that Mr. Chaun-
cey Rose came forward with a munificent gift, and thus or-
ganized the Society upon a permanent financial basis. And
now she continues
They've seen the widow's lonely home,
Made cheerful through their mite,
They've seen the children clothed, and fed,
And housed, a happy sight !
They've ministered to lame, and sick,
Kept aged ones from fear
Of destitution, while the end.
Of life, was drawing near.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 77
The " Ladies' Aid," that honored name,
A talisman shall be.
To uplift thankful, grateful hearts,
From depths of poverty ;
The children nurtured by their aid.
Shall happy voices raise.
And all the good they may have done,
Shall utter forth their praise.
Mrs. Ida Harper's report of this anniversary meeting, pub-
lished in the Terre Haute Daily Express, contains the follow-
ing reference to this poem and its author. " One of the most
valuable members, Mrs J. O. Jones, who must think in rhyme
and speak in verse, her whole nature is so full of poetry, read
a graphic and beautiful poem, which will be published in
full." And it was published not only in newspapers at the
time, but in the Seventeenth Annual Report of the Society,
May 1st, 1887.
Mrs. Jones' pencil dealt with natural, as well as social
themes. As a specimen of her manner in treating the former,
a few stanzas are here inserted, from her Song of Coal.
THE SONG OF COAL
'Twas the voice of coal, I heard it say,
I am powerful, strong and good,
I kindle the fires for warmth and light.
And send to the hungry food ;
The fires of corn burn out the soul,
I burn for human good.
I will smelt the ores, and forge the steel.
The iron shall melt in my way.
And the craft of a million industries,
Shall bow to my regal sway.
The night shall be crowned with stars of light,
Blazing up at my will alway.
178 THE HISTORY OF
The electric fire shall lend its flame,
To carry the work along,
And over, and round, and about the earth,
The bands shall be welded strong;
And the glow of my fires shall illumine the earth,
As I work with the busy throng.
The files of our city papers, which are the grand archives
of the history of our town, contain fugitive pieces of other
Terre Haute poets, but their time falls far on this side of our
chronological limit; yet there is one song, the subject of
which is so in harmony with these chapters, that I take the
liberty of inserting a portion of it here. It w^as sung to the
tune of America at the Reunion of the Old Settlers held in
Terre Haute, Sept. 1875. The author. Judge Thomas B.
Long, will be readily recognized by his work.
HAIL TO THE PIONEERS
Hail, to the pioneers !
Who, in departed years,
Here sought their fame;
Fearless of care and toil.
Thoughtless of warlike spoil,
Brave to subdue the soil.
Hither they came.
Unlike those heroes, who
Ploughed the wild waters through
New worlds to find ;
Each left some happy home.
Not from mere love to roam.
But for the good to come
Yet to mankind.
Hard was their lot and life.
Bitter and stern the strife.
They must endure;
Yet, with unfailing will.
Backed by strong hands and skill.
Each knew his place to fill —
Steadfast and sure.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1^9
Welcome, survivors, then 1
Hail, their successors ! — men
Of the same race;
Here let old tales be told
Till the old scenes unfold ;
Songs sung the loved of old,
Welcome the place !
After the above, I am emboldened on the same ground of
appropriateness, to give a selection from one of our earliest
Indiana poets, entitled : " The Hoosier's Nest." Oliver H.
Smith gives the entire poem in his " Sketches of Early In-
diana, Cincinnati, 1858." The poem was originally written
for the Indiana Journal, as a New Year's Address, in 1830.
Mr. John Finley, of Richmond, the author, was born in Vir-
ginia, in 1797. He came to Indiana while a young man. He
is well known also as the author of the widely circulated
poem, Bachelors' Hall. As an evidence that it was deservedly
so circulated, take two of its stanzas :
Bachelors' Hall ; what a quare looking place it is !
Kape me from sich all the days of my life I
Sure, but I think what a burnin' disgrace it is,
Niver at all to be gettin' a wife.
See the ould Bachelor, gloomy and sad enough,
Placing his tay-kettles over the fire ;
Soon it tips over — Saint- Patrick! he's mad enough,
If he were present to fight with the Squire.
Indiana ought not to suffer the name of John Finley to
be forgotten if he had written only this one poem ; but our
obligations are redoubled, since he pictured in prophetic num-
bers, the glories of our rising State. The following are the
closing stanzas of his realistic poem, entitled :
THE HOOSIERS' NEST
I'm told in riding somewhere West,
A stranger found a Hoosier's Nest,
l8o ■ THE HISTORY OF
In Other words a Buckeye Cabin,
Just big enough to hold Queen Mab in.
Its situation low, but airy,
Was on the borders of a prairie;
And fearing he might be benighted
He hailed the house, and then alighted.
The Hoosier met him at the door,
Their salutations soon were o'er.
He took the stranger's horse aside
And to a sturdy sapling tied.
Then having stripped the saddle off,
He fed him in a sugar trough.
The stranger stooped to enter in,
The entrance closing with a pin ;
And manifested strong desire
To seat him by the log-heap fire.
Where half a dozen Hoosicroons,
With mush and milk, tin-cups and spoons.
White heads, bare feet and dirty faces,
Seemed much inclined to keep their places;
But madam, anxious to display
Her rough but undisputed sway,
Her offspring to the ladder led.
And cuffed the youngsters up to bed.
Invited shortly to partake.
Of venison, milk and JuJinny-cake,
The stranger made a hearty meal,
And glances round the room would steal.
One side was lined with divers garments,
The other, spread with skins of varmints;
Dried pumpkins over head were strung,
Where venison hams in plenty hung;
Two rifles placed above the door,
Three dogs lay stretched upon the floor —
In short the domicil was rife
With specimens of Hoosier life.
The host, who centered his affections
On game, and range and quarter sections
Discoursed his weary guest for hours
Till Somnus' all-composing powers.
Of sublunary cares bereft 'em ;
And then — No matter how the story ended —
The application I intended.
EARLY TERRE HAUTE
Is from the famous Scottish poet.
Who seemed to feel as well as know it,
That burly chiels and clever hizzies,
Are bred in sic a way as this is.
102 THE HISTORY OF
A PARADISE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
The predominating fact in home life is that of birth, or
adoption. This constitutes the foundation of all family and
national life. The African is content amidst burning sand,
and the Eskimo, amidst eternal snow ; and yet in all
reason a home in a mild climate is preferable to either. If
therefore our lot has been cast in America, we have whereof
to be glad. The early pioneers were lavish in their praises of
the Wabash valley, and especially of Fort Harrison prairie.
To them it was a garden spot with its carpet of green, irreg-
ular beds of flowers, abundance of wild fruits, green groves,
singing birds ; and with all, watered by the clear sparkling
Wabash. H it were all this to the eyes of the pioneer, what
must it have been to their children, whose natural life was
the drinking in of the freedom inspired by broad acres, bright
sunshine, and balmy air.
All this may have been true of the prairie, but what of the
village ? Without exaggeration, it was beautiful for situation
and a joy to its inhabitants. Located on the high banks of the
Wabash, overlooking the prairie on the east, having broad
streets lined on either side with rows of the beautiful locust
tree, the residences being built upon ample grounds and sur-
rounded by private gardens and orchards, our village from
the first was noted for its beauty. Natural advantages are
desirable, but it is the inhabitants that make a town. In this
our village was highly favored, since its earliest settlers were
for the most part, young and enterprising, and were from
such states as New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. They came
to build homes, and lay broad foundations in the way of
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 83
schools, colleges and churches, as well as for industrial and
commercial enterprises. And in all this they were making
a paradise for their children. But while the parents were thus
engaged what did the children do? Answering in respect to
the girls, first of all, they went to school; while as yet the
school-houses were constructed of logs with puncheon floors,
and seats without backs. So also when desks and comfor-
table seats were introduced the girls were there, and their
side constituted the better half of the school-room. In the
second place, they helped their mothers at home ; if too small
for other services, they rocked the cradle, an important func-
tion in every happy household; and though the labor was
light the trust was appreciated. The thousand and one little
acts of service possible to the child were an inspiration and
Next to work comes play, which is the vital business of
child life. " Sallie, you come over to our house this afternoon,
and we will play dolls." This meant two hours of imaginary
house-keeping, which for variety and intense interest, a whole
day of the real thing could not equal. If the play house were
in the back yard, with its cupboard filled with broken china
and glass, and with an extemporized oven, with real fire and
mud cakes, all the better. Every season brought with it a
variety of social games. Among these were the ball, the
hoop, the jumping rope. Then there were guessing and other
games, that will remain as long as children are children ; such
as Hull gull, played with beans and peas ; Heads or points,
played with pins ; Jackstones, also Jackstraws. This last is
an ancient game, brought by our forefather's children from
across the water; and although very common in our village
days seems to have become a lost art. It is a social game and
may be played by two or more, each armed with a hook made
by a pin bent at right angles, and stuck into a wooden handle.
The straws were made of pine, light and lithe, about three
and a half inches long, and numbered according to their
shape. A plain straw would stand for one ; when slightly
crooked at the end, for ten ; when with a spade-shaped end,
184 THE HISTORY OF
for twenty ; those that were dart-shaped, for fifty ; and so ac-
cording to their make ; some standing for an hundred, and
even a thousand. The set was made up of a small number
of the higher, and a corresponding large number of the lower
grades. The game could be played on a table, chair, or school
bench. The play began by holding the set clasped in the
hand a few inches above the table and letting them fall into
a confused mass. The object of the player is to draw out
from this tangled heap, as many as possible, of the highest
numbered straws, without in the least moving their neigh-
bors. In case of such disturbance, the next player takes her
turn. The one that succeeds in hooking out the largest num-
ber of high standard straws gets the game. It seems that little
girls in London, in the long ago, played with straws made
of iron or bone, which instead of being numbered were made
to represent Kings, Queens, Lords and Servants. Of course
the player that could capture the greatest number of kings,
queens and other great dignitaries would win the game.
The game of Jackstones is also ancient and was quite a
favorite with the children of the village. Originally it was
played with the smallest bones of a sheep's leg, or with peb-
bles. It was called by the Scotch, Chuckie stones. It is
now played with small marbles, small bits of iron, the latter
often cast for the purpose. The game begins with tossing
the stones up and catching them on the back of the hand,
and then follows a variety of movements such as: Pigs in
the pen. Job's coffin. One span. Two span, which are quite
bewildering to witness, or to hear described. It may be
played by one or more, and by boys as well as girls ; but it is
the small girl's game, and she is supposed never to tire of it.
But what part had the boys in the enjoyments of this happy
village? In many things the joys of the children were in
common, and yet the boy had a reputation to sustain as a
small boy ; and hence, what the sister liked he must dislike.
If she liked school, he did not; but preferred the freedom of
the country lane, or the river bank, for there never were such
river banks. If she played with her kitten he took a naughty
EARLY TERRE HAUTE 1 85
pleasure in teasing it. Dolls and broken china were his
horror; and as for cradle rocking, he submitted under pro-
test, believing it to be an injury to the brain of the child. He
thought physicians ought to petition the legislature to make
a law against cradle rocking. Then as to imaginary play-
work, he would have none of it. When he worked, he
worked ; and when he played he played. Besides to command
his respect the game must involve determined effort; and if
need be, desperate struggle. He liked the foot race, the
wrestling match, town ball, shinney club, and for the sake of
superior skill the game of quoits or horse shoes, for the play-
ing of which in the absence of horse shoes and round iron
rings, fiat rocks were used. Skating was his ideal sport. His
ambition was to possess skill as well as endurance. This was
his boy nature. He delighted to do hard things. In split-
ting wood be preferred the stick with a big knot. He
would tackle a heavy weight for the joy of lifting it. Such
boys, for all boys were not such, when at school would pick
out the hardest words in the spelling lesson ; the most diffi-
cult numbers in the multiplication table ; the hardest sums in
the arithmetic lesson ; for the real pleasure of mastering them.
His horse must trot or gallop ; his skiff must head up stream.
There was real sport in an old dug out that leaked, provided
an old tin pan could be found, " to bail her out."
The village was proud of such boys and the boys were
proud of the village. No other spot afforded such natural
advantages, and none such a neighborhood ; for all the vil-
lagers were neighbors one with another. Besides, where
could such homes be found, with their board fences and white
picket gates, and occupied by such fathers and mothers. Our
village boy respected his father, but loved his mother. The
father went forth to his daily toil in the office or shop; he
guarded the threshold. The mother was the home ; she kept
sacred the hearth stone. The man of sixty or seventy of to-
day, if asked in regard to his parents, would say : Aly father
was the guide and pride of my youth, but my mother was,
and is still, the inspiration of my life.
1 86 THE HISTORY OF
I cannot close this chapter without mentioning at least one
other excellence pertaining to our early village life. On ac-
count of our youthfulness as a town, there were as yet but
few grandmothers, among us ; but this lack was largely
atoned for by the presence of any number of kindly faced
aunts. This motherly relation was by no means limited to
natural kinship ; so that by way of adoption, all the boys and
girls could have as many aunties as they liked.
Children are quick to discriminate, and only the w^orthy
ones were so adopted, and familiarly recognized. Pages
could be filled with names of those who were thus honored.
By their presence our village was richer, and the children
were made happier by reason of this beautiful custom. A cus-
tom that did much in making our village an ideal village and a
Paradise for Boys and Girls as it really was.
Abbey, Rev. E. W., 88.
Abbott, Rev. Dr. L. A., 83.
Acts of Indiana, Compend of,
Adams, Martin, quoted, 40, 41.
Adams, W. G., 41.
Allen, Rev., 89.
Allen, Rev. C, 88.
Allen, Edward B., 49.
Allen, Geo. M., 49.
Allen, Nathaniel, 49.
Allen, Capt. Peter B., account
Antwerp, Rev. D. D. Van, 85.
Austin, Rev. Thos. R., 85.
Bachelor's Hall, poem, extract
Baird, Col. J. P.. account of.
Baldwin Presbyterian Church,
organized, 88; name changed,
Ball, Dr. E. V., 82; account of,
' 126, 127.
Ball, Isaac, account of, 42.
Ball, ]\Irs. S. E., account of, 127.-
Ball, Spencer F., 170.
Ball, Wm. C, 170.
Ball, Wm. J., account of. 170.
Ballantine, Rev. H. W., 88.
Baltimore, IMedical College, 127.
Bancroft's History of U. S., re-
ferred to, 13.
Banks, first established, 157;
State Bank, 157 ;T. H. Branch
Bank, account of, 157, 158, 159.
Baptist Church, First, account
Barbour, C. W., 94; account of,
Barge, account of, 22, 23.
Barnes, James, 104.
Barnum, proprietor of Prairie
Bartlett, Rev. J. A., 85.
Bateaux, Father, account of,
Baugh, Wm., 172.
Beach, Moses, account of, 95.
Beard, James, 87.
Beard, ]\Irs. Jane, 87.
Beasts and Birds, early, 34.
Beatty, Rev. Dr. Chas. C, ac-
count of, 86, 87.
Beckwith, H. W., Notes on
Wabash Valley, 14; quoted,
Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward, 82.
Begg, Wm., 81.
Beggs, Rev. G. R., 85.
Bell, J. D.. 166.
Benjamin, Frank E., 64.
Beymer, Noah, 164.
Bierce, Rev. Daniel E., 88.
Bishop. Miss., 116.
Bishop, Thos. L., 82.
Black, Asa M., 70.
Black, Rev. W. R, 81,
Blackford, Judge Isaac, 105 ; ac-
count of, 107.
Blacksmith Shop, village, ac-
count of, 149, 150.
Blake, Dr. Richard, account of,
Blake, Mrs. Dr., 84.
Blake, Judge Thos. H., 84; 104;
account of, 108; 131; 169.
Bloomfield News, quoted, 25.
Bloomington College, 112; 118.
BouDiNOT, Miss Catherine, 87.
Boudinot, John, & Co., 145.
Bourne, Jacob, 84.
Bradsby, H. C, History of
Vigo County, 14; quoted, 52;
Brandt, Rev. J. L., 81.
Brasher, Robert, 82 ; account of,
Breedon, Rev. H. O., 81.
Bresse, Sidney, quoted, 52.
Brickmasons. 151, 152.
Brick School House, old, loca-
tion of, 88; date of building,
92 ; partial list of teachers and
scholars, 92, 93, 94.
Brixton, John, 74; 87.
Bronklebank, John, 151.
Brooks, Rev. F. C, 89.
Brough, John, account of, 171.
Brown, Mr., 92.
Brown, Pres. Geo. P., 100.
Brown, Isaac, 135, 136.
Brown, Rev. Joseph, 79.
Bucket-line Brigade, 163; 167.
Buckles, Rev. L. C, 86.
Buckner, a., 105.
Bullitt, Cuthbert and Thomas,
Buntin, T. C, 69; account of,
BuRFORD, Rev. S., 85.
Burget, John S., 164.
Burnett, Fisher R., 70, 71.
Burt, Rev. James G., 89.
Burton, Johnny. 75.
Butler's History of Kentucky,
Cam mack, Stephen P., 168.
Canal, The Wabash and Erie,
account of, 169, 170; first boat
Canoes, Indian, account of, 21 ;
Carpenters, trade of, 150.
Casto, Jabez, account of, 154.
Catholic Church, first building
at St. Mary's, 79; St. Joseph's,
account of, 80.
Catlin's North American In=
dians, quoted, 14; 20, 21.
Chamberlain, A. L., 164.
Chamberlain, Rev, David, 85.
Chamberlain, Moody, 92.
Chandler, Rev. G. C, 78..
Chapman, J. P., 135.
Cheever, Rev. Wm. M., 82; 88.
Children of the village, 182,
183 ; games of, 183, 184, 185.
Chip-Kaw-Kay, accout of, 27,
Christian Church, organization
of, 80, 81.
Chunn, Maj. J. T., 39; 72.
Circuit Court, constituted, 104;
first meeting of, 104.
Clark, Rev. Dr. C. P., 85.
Clark, Gen. G. R., 69.
Clark, Dr. Wm., 123.
Clay, Henry, visit of, 73; 103-
Clayton, Thos. C, 164.
Coates College, 99.
' Codfish, story concerning, 140.
Coleman, John M., account of,
61; postmaster, 64; 66; 131.
College of Physicians and Sur-
geons, N. Y., 124.
CoLLETT, John, 18.
CoLLETT, Josephus, account of,
CoLLETT, Stephen S., account of,
CoNARD, Judge Jesse, 103 ; ac-
count of, 134, 135.
CoNDiT, Rev. Blackford, 88.
CoNDiT, Mrs. Charlotte T., 87.
CoNDiT, D. D., account of, 146,
CONDIT, H. A.. 69.
CoNDiT, John D., account of, 147.
Congregational Church, organ-
ization of, 81 ; first building,
Constitution, State, quoted, 104,
Cook, James, 82.
Cooper, Benj., 81.
Cooper, Joseph, 78; 165.
Cooper, Rev. S. C, 85.
Cooper shops, account of, 153,
Corwin, Joab, 82.
CoRYDON, General Assembly,
convened at, 102; State capital,
County Seminary, Vigo, account
Court House, first building of,
66; account of, d^, 68; bill of,
68, 69; 151.
Courts, Territorial, established,
Covert College, account of, 99.
Cox, E. T., 18.
Crash of 1837, account of, 159
Crawford, John, 146 ; 163, 164.
Crawford, Samuel, account of,
146; 159; 164; 172.
Creighton, Hon. Wm., 170.
Crevasse on the Mississippi, ac-
count of, 24. 25.
Croes, Rev. R. B., account of,
84. 85; 95.
Crozat, Anthony, story of, 16.
Cruft, Gen. Chas., 93; quoted,
117; account of, 116.
Cruft, Mrs. Elizabeth, 82.
Cruft, John F., postmaster, 64;
82; 92; account of, 140, 141.
Cruft, John W., quoted, 99.
Cruft, Mary E., 82.
Cruft, Wm. S., account of, 140,
Cunningham, Arthur, Librarian
of State Normal School, "j"].
Cunningham, Frank, postmas-
Cunningham, Dr. J. R.. 143.
Cunningham, James, 75.
Cure, Rev. H. W., 81.
Curiosity Shop, Old, account of,
Cutter, Geo. W., 112; account
of, 173, 174.
Dale, Rev. Isaac. 86.
Danaldson. David S., 98; ac-
count of, 13s, 136; 165.
Danaldson, Mrs. David S., 84;
Daniels, Dr. Ebenezer, 84; ac-
count of, 129.
Daniels, Rev. John, 85.
Davis, Drummer, account of,
Davis, Dr. John W., account of,
De Iberville, 12.
Delafield, Rev. Dr., 85.
Deming, Judge Demas, account
of, 58; 103; 158; 165.
Deming, Mrs. Judge Demas, gift
■ of city park by, 58.
Deming, Demas, generous offer
to the city by, 90.
Derrow, Rev. Nathan B., pio-
neer Missionary, 81 ; 86, 87.
Desart, Mrs. Elizabeth, 87.
Desart, Thos.. 82; 87; account
Devil's Half Acre, 62.
-Devvees, Judge, 146.
Dewey, Judge Chas., account of,
Dibble, O., 87.
DiCKERSON, Levi W., 70.
Dickson, Mr., 91.
Dickson, Rev. J. A., 78.
Dickson John, 41.
Dillon's, John B., History of In-
diana, 13; quoted, 28; 104;
Distillery, Hager's, burning of,
Divorce, first case of, 104.
Doctors, early pioneer, 122.
Dole, Enoch, 92.
Dole, Wm., 75.
Douglas, Stephen A., 63.
Dowling, John, 135 ; 165.
Dowling, Thos., account of, 133,
Drake, Wm.. 41.
Duncan, John, 145.
Dunham, Rev. S. N., 85.
Dunn, Hon. Geo. C, 119.
Dunn's, J. P. Jr., History of
Indiana, referred to, 13.
Durham, W., 66.
Eagle and Lion, account of, 72,
Earle, John, account of, 137.
Earle, Sam, 164.
Earle, Capt. W., quoted, 91 ;
155; account of. 138.
Early, Jacob D., account of,
145; 159; 165.
East, Aunty, account of, 42.
Edmunds, James B., quoted, 135,
Edwards, Col. W. K., account
of, 117, 118.
Elston, Isaac C, account of, 139.
English Common Law, account
English's, History of Indiana,
referred to, 13.
Ewing, Mary, 87.
Ewing, Samuel, 87.
Fairbanks, H., 165.
Family boat, account of, 22.
Farrington, Hon. James, ac-
count of. 109, no; 159; 165.
Ferry, account of, 57; 131.
Fillmore, Rev. A. D., 81.
FiNLEY, John, account of, 179.
Fire Engines, Hand, account of,
Firemen's Association, Old, ac-
count of, 167.
Fires, account of, 168.
First brick building, 152.
Fitch, Rev. C, 85.
Flat boat, account of, 24, 25.
Flowers, Prairie, 2^.
Floyd, Davis, 105.
Fort Azatlan, account of, 18.
Fort Harrison, building of, 2>^,
T,y; attack on, 39; occupants of,
41, 42, 43; arrival of Markle
party at, 45, 46; ceased to be
a post, 40; 50; remains of, 50.
Foster, Rev. B. F., 89.
Fowler, Rev. O., 86.
Fox, Rev. F. M., 89.
Francis, Montgomery, 168.
Frank, Rev. A. J., 81.
French traders, welcomed by
the Indians, 29; degrading in-
fluences of, 29.
Fruits, wild, 34.
Gail, R. W., 91.
Games, children's, account of,
183, 184, 185.
Garber, Peter, 104.
Gibault, Father, 69.
Gibson, Rev. S. G., 89.
Gilbert, Curtis, account of. 48;
57, 58; postmaster, 64; 159;
Gilbert, Mrs. Mary C., 82.
Gilman, B. I., 144.
GooKiNS, Judge S. B., History of
Vigo County, 14; quoted. 43;
account of. no, in; 133.
<j00kins, Seymour, account of,
Gordon, Rev. Thos. B., account
Graff, Dr. George, postmaster,
Graff, Joseph, 165
Graham, Rev. Wm., 86.
Grandmother, the pioneer, ac-
count of, 122.
Grasses and flowers, account of,
Grist Mills, 48; 59; 153.
Griswold, W. D.. school teacher,
93; account of, 115.
Hadley, Rev. J., 85.
Hager, John B., quoted, 164.
Hail to the Pioneers, poem, 178,
Hannegan, Hon. Edward A.,
67, 68; account of, 113, 114;
Hardy, P. H., 164.
Hargrave, Rev. Richard. 85.
Harper, J^Irs. Ida, quoted, 177.
Harrison, Robert, 74.
Harrison, Gen. W. H., account
of, 36; 38.
Hat-]\Iakers, account of, 154,
Hayes, Benj., account of, 94,
Hayes, Harold, account of. 42.
Heaberlin, Z., account of, 160,
Hedges, Samuel, 98.
Henderson, Rev. C. R. . 79.
Henderson, Sanford S., 70.
Heustis, Sylvester, 172.
Heustis, Ed., 172.
Hickman, Rev. Dr., 86.
Hidden, J. C, quoted, 24; 63.
Hitchcock, Dr. J. W., quoted,
Hoggatt, Moses, 104.
Hoggatt, Wm, Engineer, quoted,
Hogs, droves of, account of, 148.
Holmes, Rev. J, S,, 79.
Hook, James, 164.
Hoggatt, Wm., Engineer, quoted,
179, 180, 181.
Houghton, Thos., 92; 163.
HovEY, Elisha, 151
Hovey, Z. C, 165.
Hull, Rev. Samuel, 85.
HuLMAN, H., 115.
Humaston & Co., 145.
Hummer, Rev. Michael, 87.
Huntington, Judge Elisha M.,
67 ; account of, 109.
Huntington, N. P., 48; account
Hurst. H., 105.
HussEY, Geo., account of. 139;
HussEY, Preston, 160.
Improvements, Internal, account
of, 75; 169.
Indiana, financial troubles of,
account of, 157; 159.
Indiana Journal, quoted, 179.
Indiana Laws, Early, 104 ; re-
vised code, 105.
Indiana, State of, organized, 51.
Indiana, Territory of, organized,
2,6 ; proslavery sentiment in,
Indians, hieroglyphics of. 27;
relics of, 27; originally Algon-
quins, 27; tribes of, on the Wa-
bash, 28, 29, 30; depredations
Jackson, John, 85.
Jackson, President, 141.
Jail, location of the first, 71 ; ac-
count of the second, 71.
Jamison, Rev. L. H., 81.
Jefferson Medical College, 129.
Jenckes, Judge John, account of,
Jennings, Jonathan, first govern-
or of Indiana, 108.
Jewell, Rev. Henry, 89.
Jewett, Rev. M. A., account of,
81, 82, 83.
Johnson, James, 143; 145.
Johnson, John, 105.
Johnson, Gen. W., Compend of
Acts of Indiana, 105.
Jones and Johnson, revised code
of Indiana Laws. 105.
Jones, J. O., postmaster, 64, 65;
Jones, Mrs. Persis, account of,
Journal, Terre Haute, 135.
Judges, associate, account of, 103,
Kemper, Bishop, 84.
KiDWELL, Rev. John, 89.
KiLPATRicK, Geo., 75.
King, John F., 146.
King, Miss Mary, 87.
Kinney, Judge Amory, 82; 87;
92; account of, no; 133.
KiRTLEY, Rev. L., 79.
KiTCHELL, Joseph, original land
Knapp, Rev. George, 89.
Krumbhaar, Wm., 84.
Krumbhaar, Mrs. Wm., 84.
Lalumiere, Father G. P., ac-
count of, 80.
Lambert, Isaac, 41.
Lapsley, Rev. J. E., 88.
La Salle, account of, 12.
Lasselle, Hyacinthe, 51
Law, a. p., 81.
Law's, Judge John, Colonial His-
tory of Vincennes, 13 ; quoted,
Law, Majesty of, 104, 105.
Lawrence, Lewis B., account of,
Lawyers, early, as circuit ri-
Lewis, Maj., 108.
Library, City, 89.
Lincoln, President. 63; no.
LiNDLEY, Jonathan, 51 ; account
Linton, David, account of, 140;
Linton, W. C, postmaster, 64;
74; 87; 124; account of, 139.
LiSTON, Edward, 41.
LiSTON, Joseph, quoted, 41 ; ac-
count of, 43; 79.
Little, Rev. Henry S., 88.
Long, Judge Thos. B., quoted,
Longfellow, the poet, 150.
Louis XIV., ambition of. 12; 15.
Macksville, original name of,
Madison, T. A., 164.
Manford, Rev., 89.
Marest, Father, quoted, 28.
Market House, public, account
Markle, Abram, account of, 47,
Mars, Wm., account of, 150.
Martin, Rev. Thos. M, 85.
Medford, Rev. Wm., 85.
Mermet, Father, 28.
Methodist Churches, account of,
Miami Indians, account of, 27.
Middleton, Dr., 123.
Middleton, Samuel, 42.
Miller, Col. James, account of.
Miller, Joseph, 82 ; account of,
Miller, Mrs. Margaret B., 82;
account of, 145.
Miller, Phoebe, account of, 95.
Mills, Prof. Caleb, account of,
Mills, Samuel J., 81.
Millwrights, account of, 152,
Miner, R., 164.
MoDESiTT, Dr. Chas. B., account
of. 56. 57; 123, 124.
MoDESiTT, Rev. Welton M., ac-
count of, 94.
:\IoFFATT, B. B., account of, 115,
MoFFATT, Judge J. T., account of,
Money, substitutes for, 156; ac-
count of, 161, 162.
Monfort, Rev. David, account
of, 74 ; 87.
Monfort, Mrs. Phoebe, 87.
Moore, Reuben, 41.
Morgan, Rev. F. A., 81.
Morgan, W. D., 141.
Morris, Mrs. Mary M., 145.
Morris, Richard A., 145.
Morrison, Rev. Geo., 88.
Mounds, Indian, account of,
INIouND Builders, account of, ig.
Mullendore, Rev. W., 81.
McMusselman, Samuel, 164.
McCabe, Rev. Dr. F. S., account
McCabe, ]\Irs. Julia, 82.
McCabe, R. S., 154.
INIcCall, James B., 159.
IMcCall, Mrs. Julia, 87.
McCoRD, Rev. James, 85.
McCuLLOCH, Hon. Hugh, 159.
McCuLLOCH, John, 87.
McCuLLOCH, Margaret, 87.
McCuLLOUGH, Dr., 123.
McCuLLOUGH, Rev. J. H., ac-
count of, 81.
McFadden, Wm., 75.
McGregor, Alexander, account
of, 146; 165.
McGrew, F.. 164.
McKeen, Benj., account of, 143,
McKeen, W. R., 160.
McLean, Hon. Wm. E., account
McMuRRAiN, Mr., 153.
McQuiLKiN, Samuel, account of,
Names, the foot prints of His-
tory, examples of, 15.
National Road, account of, 52 ;
Naylor, Wm., account of, 42;
Nelson, Hon. Thos. H., 121.
New, Rev. J. P., 81.
Newman, Mahlon, 164.
Noble, Gov., iio.
Noble, Chas. T., account of, 92;
O'Brien, John, 164.
Ogden, Maj., 171.
O'Kane, Rev. John, 80.
Old Curiosity Shop, account of.
Olds, Joshua, account of, 46;
Orchard Town, location of, 30.
OsBORN, John W., hi; account
of, 132, 133-
Osborne, Capt. Samuel, 132.
OuABACHE, Indian name as spell-
ed by French, 15; meaning of,
16; branch of Mississippi, I7-
Ouiateno, location of, 30 ; mean-
ing of. 30; 41-
Ouiatenon, account of, 28, 29.
Paddock & Co., 145.
Parret, Father, 80.
Parry, Rev. Thos., 88.
Parsons, Dr. Thos., account of,
128, 129; 165.
Parsons, Prof. W. W., account
Patrick, Rev. E., 85.
Patrick, Dr. Septer, account of,
Peale, Rev. G. P., 81.
Peck, E. J., 172.
Peddle, Chas. R., account of, 171,
Perdue, L. P., quoted, 82.
Phelps, Rev. B., 85.
Physician, the pioneer, 122.
Pierson, Rev., 79.
Pioneers, second period of, 45.
Pirogue, account of, 21, 22.
Pony Express, 63.
Porter, Judge John, account of,
Porterfield, Wm., 164.
Postage, rate of, 62.
Postoffice, first established, 48J
61 ; postmasters, 61 ; moved to
village, 61 ; mail service, 61,
Potwin, a. C, 82.
PoTWiN, Mrs. Helen, 82.
Pound, Mrs. M., 78.
Prairie, Fort Harrison, account
of, Z2, 33. 34, 35.
Prairie House, account of, 75,
Presbyteri.^n Church, organized,
87; Wash. Ave. Pres. Church
Preston, Mrs. Charlotte, account
Preston, Nathaniel, account of,
Prince, W., 105.
Prindle, Rev. Chas., account of,
Pro-Sla\try element, in early
Providence Hospital, 60.
Provost, 'Sir., account of, 95, 96.
PucKETT, Thos., 43.
Railroad, possibility of, 171 ;
Terre Haute & Richmond, ac-
count of, 171, 172.
Ramage, Wm., 164.
Rathbone, Mr., 92.
Ray, Rev. Edward, 85.
Redford, Henry, account of, 57;
Reed, Dr. Ezra, account of, 129,
Reiman & Co., 145.
Ri.chardsox, Joseph, account of,
Richardson, Mrs. Joseph, ac-
count of, 47.
Rigdon, Sydney, the ^Mormon,
Rising Sun, village of, 30.
Rixter, D. H., in Bloomfield
Robinson, Rev. Smith L., 85;
Rose, Chauncey, quoted, 49; ac-
count of, 50; benfactions of,
49; 59; a bronze statue to
memory of, 49; as a business
man, 58, 59. 60 ; proposed Fe-
male Seminarj', 100; 141; 158;
166; 171, 172.
Rose, Henry, 146.
Rose Ladies Aid Society, endow-
ment of, 59; name changed,
59; 25th anniversary of, 176.
Rose Polytechnic Institute, ac-
count of, 100.
Ross, Alexander, 82 ; 87.
Ross, Ephraim, 87.
Ross, Harry, quoted, 87; account
Ross, James, 144.
Ross, John, quoted, 151.
Ross, ^Irs. Mary, 87.
Ross, Russell, 92.
Ross Bros., 144; 151.
RouTLEDGE, John, 84.
St. Mary's Institute, account of,
St. Jerome, name of Wabash
river, account of, 16.
St. John, Rufus, 164.
St. Stephen's Church, organiza-
tion of, 84.
Schermerhorn, Rev. J. T.,
pioneer missionary, 81.
Schoolcraft's Thirty Years
Among Indian Tribes, 14.
Schools, early free, first pro-
Scott, Gen., quoted. 29, 30.
Scott, Harvey, D., accotmt of,
Scott, Rev. James, 85.
Scott, John, account of. 146; 172.
Scott, Lucius H.. quoted, 74;
account of. 91 ; 137.
Seely, Jonas, 164.
Sellers, Rev. L. E., 81.
Seminary for Girls, earliest at-
tempt toward, 99.
Semin.\ry, Vigo County, account
Shannon, Rev. J. X.. 88.
Shannon, Patrick. 160.
Shawanee Prophet, account of,
Shrader, Rev. John, 85.
Shuler, Dr. L. S., account of,
Shuler, Mrs. Dr., quoted, 125.
Simmons, Rev. Dr. G. H., 79.
Slavery, Indiana saved from,
Slaves, property rights in, 132.
Smith, Rev. B. L., 81.
Smith, Mrs. Hannah, 82; 87.
Smith, Joe, the Mormon, 68.
Smith, Jordan, 82.
Smith's, O. H., Early Indiana
Trials, and Sketches, 13;
quoted, 106; 109.
Smith's, W. H., History of In-
Smith, Rev. W. H., 85.
Smith, Zenas, 82; 87; account
of, 152; 163, 164.
Song of Coal, poem, extract
from, 177, 178.
Song of Steam, poem, given in
part, 174- 175-
Soule, J. B. L., 82.
SouLE, Prof. Moses, 97.
Sparks, Rev. Samuel, 78.
Spencer, Rev. W. G., 85.
Spicer, F. H., quoted, 167.
Stage Coaches, account of, 62,
63 ; drivers, account of, 62, 63.
Stamper, Rev. Jonathan, 85.
Stanley, Rev. Dr., 85.
Stark, William, 78.
State Bank building, account of,
State Normal School, account
of, 60 ; 100.
Steamboat, first, 25.
Sterrett, Rev. Alexander, 88.
Stevenson, Rev. B., 85.
Stewart, Mrs., 49.
Stewart, Matthew, 75 ; 92.
Stimson, Rev. S. M., 79.
Stratton, Stephen, 164.
Stringham, Capt. Daniel, ac-
count of, 46.
Sturgis, Maj. R., 40.
Sulger, Rev. John E.. 85.
Sullivan, G. R. C, 105.
Sunderland, J., 159.
Surrell, L., 165.
Sweeney, Rev. G. W., 81.
Tanyards, village, account of,
Tavern, Light Horse, account of,
Taylor, Rev. David, 79.
Taylor, Mrs. Matilda, account
Taylor, Dr. Richard, 123.
Taylor, Capt. Zachary, account
of, 39; quoted. 43.
Tecumseh, quoted, 17; 36.
Terre Haute, incorporated, 11;
society in early days of, 12;
natural location of, 12; first
cabins in, 49; original plat, 51;
original site, 51, 52; early
name, 53 ; pronunciation of, 53 ;
geographical position of, 53,
54; first sale of lots in, 54;
county seat, 56; first 4th of
July celebration in, "jz ; an ed-
ucational centre, 99 ; first news-
paper In, account of, 131 ;
prosperity of. 147, 148.
Terre Haute Fire Department,
163, 164; 166. 167.
Terre Haute & Richmond R.
R., account of, 171.
Terre Haute Evening Gazette,
Terre Haute Express, account
of, 135; as a daily, 135, 136;
Terre Haute Land Company, ac-
count of, 51-
Terre Haute Register, the Pio-
neer newspaper, 65.
Test, Hon. John, quoted, 169.
Thayer, Joseph. 91, 92.
Theodore, Mother, account of,
Thomas, Henry, 78.
Thompson, Hon. R. W., account
of, 119, 120.
Thralls, Farmer, loi.
TiLLOTSON, Rev. D., 86.
TiLLOTSON, Judge EHjah, 92;
Tippecanoe, Battle of, account
of, 2>T, 45-
Tippy, Rev. Worth M., 86.
Tipton, Gen. John, account of,
Torra-nce, Rev. Dr. Wm., 89.
Trees and Groves, 33.
Tyler, Rev. B. B., 81.
Tyler, Pres. John, 108.
Universalist Church, organized,
89; building erected, 89.
Usher, Hon. J. P., account of,
Van Buren, Pres., 65.
Vanderburg, Rev. H., 85.
Verdi, anvil chorus by, 149,
Vigo County, erection of, 56.
Vigo, Col. Francis, will of, 68;
account of, 69, 70.
Village, original site of, 51, 52.
Vincennes, first settlement of,
Volunteer Fire Company, or-
ganized, 164; 166.
Vorhees, Hon. D. W., 121.
Wabash College, 59.
Wabash Courier, quoted, 62; es-
tablished, 133, 134.
Wabash Enquirer, 135.
Wabash river, names of, 15;
mounds and fortifications on,
18; craft on, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,
25, 26; first steamboat on, 25,
26; Indian villages on, 27, 28,
Wabash Valley, early home of
the red man, 27; beauty of, 32,
ZZ, 34, 35-
Wagonmakers, the trade of. 150.
Wallace, Rev. Matthew, 88.
Warner, John, 164.
Warren, Chauncey, account of,
Warren, Mrs. Francis E., 142.
Warren, Geo. C, 165.
Warren's, Henry, newspaper
Warren, Levi G., 84; account of,
Warren, Mrs. Nancy, 82.
Warren, W. B., account of, 143.
Wasson, Capt. James, account
of, 74; 87; 165.
Wasson, Mrs. Mary, 82.
Waterman, Rev. Dr. W. A., 83.
Watson, D. W., Sons, 166.
Watson, Judge John H., 104;
account of, 160.
Wea villages, account of, 28, 29.
Wedding, Judge Randolph H.,
account of, 103.
Western Register, 131 ; account
of. 132; quoted, 155, 156.
Western Sun, 132.
Westfall, H., 165.
Wharry, Robert, 165.
Wheeler, Rev., 79.
Wheelwrights, account of, 152.
Whipple, F. R., 82.
Whipple, Mrs. Mary P., 82.
Whitcomb, Gov. James, 113.
White, Rev. Dr. Chas., 116;
Whitlock, Maj., 139.
Wilkinson, Gen. James, quoted,
Williams, Israel, 98.
Williams, Mrs. Israel, 60.
Williams, Waite, 165.
Wilson & Co., 145.
Wilson, Rev. Joseph G., 88.
Wines, Wm., 97.
Winsor's, Justin, History of
Mississippi Basin, 14.
Witmer, Rev. W. W., 81.
Wood, Rev. Aaron, quoted, 99.
Wood, Mrs. Charlotte, 93; 129;
Wood, Chas., account of, 171.
Wood, Dr. John, 129.
Wood, Dr. Maxwell W., account
Woolen's, W. W., Biographical
Sketches of Early Indiana, 13;
Wordsworth, the poet, quoted,
Wright, Gov. Joseph A., iii.
Wright, Solomon, account of,
Wylie, Rev. Dr., 118.
Young, Mrs. Margaret, 87.
Young, Mrs. Mary, 87.
Young, Samuel, 87.
Young, William, 87.